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MEMOIRS 



OF THE 



LIFE, CHARACTER, AND LABOURS 



OF THE 



REV. JOHN SMITH, 

f ■ 
LATE OF SHEFFIELD; 



• 



rf*- 



■BY 

p 
■ • 

BICHAIU) TREFFRY, Jun. 



" niM Itihe Intster Bprins. of a minist^ Hell is before me, ami 
ttaonaudii 6t.tiaU s^at up tMre In fverlimiiis agoniet. Jesm Cfariat 
standi iul^ ta Mte mea ft'om raBAoff into this bottomle M ab yss, tie sends 
me la ipielaini hli ability and love. 1 want no 
idea )i eoMemptlble I Every fonnh idea is a gi 



SECOND EDITI 




LONDON: 

PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR: 

SOLD BY JOHN MASON, 14, CITY ROAD; 
AND 66, PATERNOSTER ROW. 

MDCCCXXXIII. 



7 



IV PREFACE, 

who gets into the habit of inquiring about proprieties 
and expediencies and occasions, often spends his life 
without doing any thing to purpose. The state of 
the world is such, and so much depends on action, 
that every thing seems to say loudly to every man, 
*Do something '—* Do it'— 'Do it.'" Whatever, 
therefore, prevents resolution, promptitude, and dili- 
gence, — be its aspect of expediency what it may, — 
is sin. "While Rome deliberates, Saguntum pe- 
rishes." 

Such considerations give to the following pages, 
an importance, to which, as the history of a single 
individual, they could not pretend. They have been 
compiled with the humble hope, that the develope- 
ment and the advocacy of the principles which they 
present, may somewhat tend, not only to remove 
differences of opinion respecting their subject, but 
also to stimulate to a higher degree of usefulness, 
those who are capable of serving the church of God. 
The admirers of Mr. Smith's character, it is hoped, 
will detect in the following Memoirs, no indisposition 
to do justice to his great and singular virtues ; while 
on the other hand, the impugners of his views, the 
author trusts, will not have to complain of wilful in- 
discrimination, or of the absence of candour. He 
has not the presumption to imagine, that his sketch 
will meet with the unqualified approbation of both 
these classes of readers. It will be enough, if nei- 
ther charge him with disingenuousness, or with being 
wanting in sincere endeavour to promote the truth. 

Of the literary character of the work, it may not 
be improper to add a few words. As soon as its 
writer understood, that there was no prpbability of 
any other person undertaking to perpetuate the me- 
mory of one whom he so dearly valued, he readily 
complied with the wish of Mr. Smith's friends, that 
he should become his biographer. To multitudes, he 
knew that even a very indifferent delineation of his 



PREFACE. \ 

subject, when no better was to be procured, wonid 
be welcome, and might be serviceable. The state of 
his own health, under other circumstances, would 
have rendered him very reluctant to have Imund 
himself to such an employment ; and indeed to tliis 
cause may be attributed a measure of the defective- 
ness of the present work, as well as of the delay in 
its publication. He has often prosecuted it witli 
a trembling hand, a fevered cheek, and a depressed 
spirit ; and an hour or two in the course of tlie day 
has been as long a time as his weakness would allow 
bim to devote to it. As fast as the manuscript ban 
been competed, it has been put into the liands of the 
priiiter; and the author has not had the opportunity 
or ability to give any great attention to the proofn as 
they issued from the press. 

The available materials for the composition of the 
following pages were not ample. Mr. Smith left but 
few papers which could assist the undertaking: of 
these the largest possible use has been made. Tbc 
author is ftirther indebted to the communications, 
not only o£ those friends of Mr. S., whose names oc- 
cur hereafter, but also to several others, whose views 
of his character, and narratives of his successes, have 
been for the most part, embodied in the work. Tci 
have given at large the statements of each, would 
have induced much repetition, and have swelled the 
volume to more than double its present size. To his 
valuable correspondents, the author gratefully as- 
cribes whatever degree of interest the materiel of his 
work may be thought to possess ; their assistance has 
been very welcome, and is most sincerely acknow- 
ledged. It ought also to be added, that he has sub- 
mitted the manuscript to the inspection of some very 
dear friends, whose suggestions have, in a few in- 
stances, served to give a comparative regularity and 
force, to its generally feeble and unequal style. 
With all the advantages which he could command.. 

A 3 



VI PREFACE, 

however, the picture falls so far short of the reality ; 
and, the result of his efforts is so much below the 
idea which warmed the writer's imagination when he 
commenced, that it is with deep and painful diffidence 
he presents it to the Christian public. Yet he thanks 
God that he has lived to complete his task : and it is 
his consolation, that however speedily and entirely 
his labours may be ingidfed in oblivion, Truth and 
Virtue, the interests of which he has endeavoured to 
subserve, — are imperishable and eternal. 

It is only necessary to add, that the entire profits 
of this work will be devoted to the use of Mr. Smith's 
family. 

Penzance, September ^ 1832. 



ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SECOND EDITION. 

Some typographical errors, and a few inaccuracies 
of expression, have been corrected in the present 
edition. Two or three passages have also been 
transposed; but on the whole, the alterations are 
neither numerous nor important* 



CONTENTS. 



I. 

CUDWORTH— SHEFFIELD— BARNSLEY. 1794—1812. 
— Mr. Smith's birth, parentage, moral advantages, and 
early religious impressions — Irregularities of his childhood 
— His situations successively at Sheffield and Bamsley, 
and his vicious habits — Indications of character — His con- 
version — Encouragement to pious parents.— pp. 1—9. 

II. 

BARNSLEY. 1812— 1813.— The character of his Christian^ 
ity through life partly referrible to the circumstances im- 
mediately preceding and accompanying his conversion — 
His delight in the word of God — deep devotion — concern 
for sinners — and diligence in mental cultivation — His sub- 
sequent eminence the result of early decision — He is placed 
at Mr. Sigston's academy. — pp. 9 — 16. 

IIL 

LEEDS. 1813 — 1814. — Christianity encourages intellectual 
cultivation — An objection answered — Mr. Smith's disad- 
vantages — He contracts an intimacy with the late Rev. D. 
Stoner — Contrast between these two distinguished men — 
The temptations incident on a new situations—Extracts 
from Mr. Smith's correspondence — His literary progress — 
He begins to preach — Anecdote of Mr. Stoner — The fail- 
ure of Mr. Smith's first attempt.— >pp. 16 — 26. 

IV. 

LEEDS— OULTON. 1814— 1816.— His reluctance to engage 
in the Christian ministry accounted for, by considerations 
of its importance — He is proposed as a probationary local 



Vlll CONTENTS. 

preacher by Mr. W. Nelson — Notice of the death of Mr. N. 
~ His trial sermon approved — Extracts — He is prevented 
from becoming a missionary by the state of his health — 
His character while at Leeds — Removes to Oulton — His 
engagements — Extract— The advancement of his charac- 
ter under some disadvantages — He is appointed to the 
York circuit. — pp. 26 — 37. 

V. 

YORK. 1816— 1817.— The duty and blessedness of a conti- 
nual recognition of divine Providence illustrated in the ex- 
ample of Mr. Smith — His character at the time of his ap- 
pointment to York — The advantages which he there en- 
joyed, particularly in the friendship of the late Rev. John 
Nelson — The results of his intercourse with this venerable 
minister — on his personal piety — the elevation of his mi- 
nisterial character — the direction of his studies to human 
nature — and the style of his preaching — The testimony of 
the Rev. W, H. Clarkson, and another of his friends, on 
this last subject — Extracts from his correspondence and 
private memoranda — The exercises of his mind on the 
work of the ministry — His dissatisfaction with his designa- 
tion to the office of a preacher — The advantageous results 
of these exercises — He is laid aside by a slight illness, and 
the consequences on his own tranquillity — Extracts. — pp. 
37—62. 

VI. 

BARNARD CASTLE. 1817— 1818.— The state of the Bar- 
nard Castle circuit — Extract from a letter of Mr. Nelson — 
Extracts from Mr. Smith's correspondence and papers — 
His want of caution respecting his health — Extracts — The 
application of certain passages of scripture to his mind, 
with its result — Extracts — Principles of revivals, and their 
influence on his conduct — Extracts — He is again afflicted 
— Extracts — His intercourse with the Rev. W. Bramwell 
at Leeds, and his removal from Barnard Castle. — pp. 62 — 
82. 



CONTENTS. IX 

VII. 

BRIGHTON. 1818~1819.— His decision of character—Ex- 
tract — The subjects of his ministry in the early part of his 
residence at Brighton-^Extracts — The testimony of the 
Rev. F. Calder as to his attachment to the word of God, 
and its influence on his ministry — Prospects of good — His 
ministerial energy — The earnestness of his desire for the 
salvation of sinners — Extracts — Anecdote illustrative of his 
self distrust — Private memorandum on a similar subject — 
His sentiments on Christian consolation — Extract — Re- 
marks on sympathy, and its exhibition in his counsels 
and practices, with the observations of Messrs. Calder and 
Clarkson — Extract — His labours at the district meeting of 
1819 — The testimony of men of piety and discernment to 
his worth — His qualifications for pastoral duties, with ex- 
amples of his success — Extract^ A visit to Chich ester- 
Extract.— pp. 83—118. 

VIII. 

BRIGHTON CONTINUED. 1819— 1820.— Extract— His spirit- 
uality exemplified in his correspondence with his parents. — 
Extract illustrative of Christian perfection— Increase of re- 
ligious feeling in the circuit— Conversion of a young lady^ 
Extracts — Anecdotes — His admission into full connexion, 
marriage, and appointment to Windsor. — pp. 119 — 131. 

IX. 

WINDSOR. 1820— 1821.— The state of the Windsor circuit 
— Mr. Smith's difficulties and determination — Extract — 
Sabbath breaking — Prayer meetings, and the raising up of 
active men through their influence — Labours in the Ham- 
mersmith circuit — Anecdote in a Note — His interest in 
and success among the military, with an extract and anec- 
dote — Extracts — The character of his faith — He visits the 
Brighton circuit — His singularities vindicated from the 
charge of enthusiasm — The scriptural soundness of his 
views — Ministerial expedients — Pulpit mountebanks and 



Xll CONTENTS. 

ingy in the last hours of good men — The state of Mr. 
Smith's experience in general — His uneasiness respecting 
the Lincoln circuit — The nature and progress of his 
disease — Extract — The district meeting at Homcastle — 
Extract — He is seized with inflammation — A degree of 
improvement in his health — Extract — His journey to 
Brighton, with extracts from his letters while there — The 
imprudence of his exertions— A third extract — His return 
to Lincoln — Interview with the Rev. H. S. Hopwood at 
Nottingham — Removal to Sheffield, and thence to Cud- 
worth — Conversation with the Rev. A. Strachan — Extract 
— The tranquillity of his mind — Confirmation of his prin- 
ciples supplied by his present experience — Othcjr inter- 
views with Mr. Strachan — Extracts from his last letters to 
Mrs. S. — Delirium— Memorandum of his feelings^His 
conflicts and triumph — He returns to Sheffield — Conversa- 
tion with Mr. H. Beeson — The early death of useful minis- 
ters, sometimes referrible to the idolizing attachment of 
the church — Mr. Smith's fortitude in the approach of 
death — His hope of recognizing the saints in heaven — 
Several of his sayings noted — His death and interment — 
Funeral discourses — Paragraph from the Sheffield Mercury 
— Hints to revivalists — Mr. Smith's steady eminence at- 
tributable to his diligence in closet duties, and particularly 
to his- attachment to the scriptures — Conclusion. — pp. 
308—356. 



MEMOIRS 



I. 

CUDWORTH— SHEFFIELD— BARNSLEY. 

1 794—1 8 12. 

John Smith was bom at Cudworth, near 
Bamsley, in the west riding of Yorkshire, 
January 12, 1794. His parents, who haye both 
survived him, became savingly acquainted with 
evangelical truth, and imited themselves to the 
methodist society about the time of his birth. 
His &ther has for many years sustained the im- 
portant offices of leader and local preacher, to 
the advantage of the church and the honour of 
God; and his mother, in the quietness and se- 
clusion of hiunble life, has long adorned her 
profession, and exerted that holy influence which 
belongs exclusively to maternal piety. From his 
earliest infancy, therefore, the subject of these 
memoirs was placed imder the directions and re- 
straints of domestic religion, and he was care- 
fully instructed in the verities of God's most 
holy word. Nor is there any doubt but that he 
was privileged by the visitations of the divine 
Spirit at a very tender age. When between eight 

B 



2 MEMOIRS OF THE 

and nine years old, he was powerfully affected 
by concern for his soul, under a sermon by a 
local preacher of the Wakefield circuit, from 
Psalm cxliv. 15, " Happy is that people whose 
God is the Lord.'^ His serious impressions, 
however, were but occasional and transitory. 

In his in&ncy, he exhibited an ardent and 
headstrong spirit. The earhest recoUection with 
which His father ha^ suppKed me, is of an act of 
singularly wanton and precocious mischievous- 
ness, the results o{ which, had it not been for a 
mercifrd Providence, might have been of the 
most serious kind. Generally, in his childhood, 
he had not the fear of God before his eyes. His 
sports were characteristically bold, boisterous, 
and wicked. He was even accustomed to attend 
the prayer meetings held in his native village, to 
collect materials for the mirth of his ungodly 
companions ; and, endowed as he naturally was 
with extraordinary powers of mimicry, he after- 
wards amused them by striking and ridiculous 
imitations of the peculiarities which he had ob- 
served in the pious persons who conducted those 
means of grace. 

During the time that he remained at home, 
he was, of course, prevented from the full in- 
dulgence of his depraved propensities; but when 
about fourteen years of age, being placed as an 
apprentice with a grocer at Sheffield, and of con- 
sequence more free from control, he became de- 



RET. JOHN SMTTH. 



odedlj wicked. He conducted himself generally 
in a3 irregular a manner, that, after two years, 
his master, unable any longer to endure his bad 
conduct, sent hiin back to his parents. He then 
obtained a situation at Barnsley, in the same 
Jine of business. Here eien he gave up attend- 
ance at a place of worship, and tlius broke the 
last link which seemed to connect him with the 
principles and example of his pious parents. He 
avociated himself, without restraint, with other 
Di^odlv young men, and had his natural corrup- 
tion increased, and his habits of evil confirmed, 
by their example and counsels. He imitated 
tb^ profane language, and learned to blaspheme 
the God of his lather. Aa far as his means per- 
mitted, he became a gambler, and contracted a 
strottg passion for wrestling, and other athletic 
eitercises, especially for pugilistic contests. He 
often travelled considerable distances to attend 
prize fighta, and actuaUy put himself under the 
tuition and training of scientific boxers; and his 
muscular frame and hon heart well fitted him for 
pre-eminence in such vain and wicked exercises. 
It is needless to say anything of the deeply de- 
basing society into which these ponuits con- 
tinually led him. It was congenial with his 
corrupt affections, and perhaps, than this, no 
stronger evidence can be found of his perfect 
ectnuigement from God and virtue. In short, 
he was an adept and an enthusiast in vice, and 
B 2 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



he gloried in the awful distinction which an ath- 
letic body and a desperate mind enabled him to 
maintain among his sinful associates. 

Even in this course of sin, however, might be 
easily discerned, indications of the same natural 
character which afterwards, under the sanctifying 
influences of the Holy Spirit, contributed to 
render him so distinguished a Christian and mi- 
nister. " Here was the energy which, in good or 
evil, allowed him to be satis6ed with nothiog 
like a medium of feeling or exertion. Here was 
the strong concentrated passion, urging him on 
by its hurricane power to the utter abandonment 
of religion, which, in a brighter era of his life, 
became the impulse of generous sacrifice, self- 
devotion, and labour. If he now spumed re- 
proof, rejected all care of reputation, and hard' 
ened himself agamst every suggestion of peril oa 
account of sin, he was equally daring and inds 
pendant when " the excellency of tlie knowledge 
of Christ Jesus " became the object of his emu- 
lation. The popukiity which, by his h^hly 
social qualities, he acquired, among the vain and 
worldly persons by whom lie was at this time 
surrounded, was succeeded, in a more honotip- 
able period of his history, by the warm ChristiBn 
attachment of all who had the privilege of his 
intimacy. It is a melancholy fact also, that he 
was a sinner of influence, and there were some 
of his companions in vanity who, according to 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 8 

ddedly wicked. He conducted himself generally 
in so irregular a manner, that, after two years, 
his master, unable any longer to endure his bad 
conduct, sent him back to his parents. He then 
obtained a situation at Bamsley, in the same 
line of business. Here even he gave up attend- 
ance at a place of worship, and thus broke the 
last link which seemed to connect him with the 
principles and example of his pious parents. He 
associated himself, vdthout restraint, vnth other 
ungodly yoimg men, and had his natural corrup- 
tion increased, and his habits of evil confirmed, 
by their example and counsels. He imitated 
their profane language, and learned to blaspheme 
the God of his father. As far as his means per- 
mitted, he became a gambler, and contracted a 
^ strong passion for vnrestling, and other athletic 
exercises, especially for pugilistic contests. He 
often travelled considerable distances to attend 
prize fights, and actually put himself under the 
tuition and training of scientific boxers; and his 
muscular frame and lion heart well fitted him for 
pre-eminence in such vain and wicked exercises. 
It is needless to say anything of the deeply de- 
basing society into which these pursuits con- 
tinually led him. It was congenial with his 
corrupt affections, and perhaps, than this, no 
stronger evidence can be found of his perfect 
estrangement from God and virtue. In short, 
he was an adept and an enthusiast in vice, and 

B 2 



6 MEMOIRS OF THE 

Meantime his parents* patience, coimsel^ pray- 
ers, aad tears were not forgotten before the Lord. 
In the spring of 1812, it pleased God to visit 
Cudworth with a gracious rain of his Holy 
Spirit. Several persons were awakened and con- 
verted, and among others, a cousin of John 
Smith. On Sunday, April 5th, of that year, 
John, with one of his companions, came <^er 
from Bamsley to Cudworth. He there saw what 
had been done for others, and his mind was 
much affected. In the course of the day, his 
pious mother conversed with him at large on his 
miserable condition, and when he was about to 
return, she said to him, " You are wandering 
about in search of happiness, but you will never 
find it tiU you turn to God." Her conversation 
produced so powerful an effect on him, that he 
abruptly left her, lest she should remark his 
emotion. He and his companion had not pro- 
ceeded far on their journey home, before Smith 
suddenly stopped, and with a deep groan, and a 
gesture expressive of strong determination, ex- 
claimed, " I am resolved to lead a new life." As 
soon as he had uttered this resolution, he felt a 
measure of satisfaction to which he had before 
been an entire stranger, and he immediately 
proposed to return, and attend the prayer-meet- 
ing which was that evening to be held at Cud- 
worth. When he arrived at the chapel, the 
meeting had begun. He entered, however, and 



aBT. JOHN SMITH. 7 

afanost instantly the agitation of his mind became 
uncontrollable. He cried aloud, and besought 
the friends to pray for him. The meeting con- 
eluded, but he obtained no relief. Several others, 
who were in distress, accompanied him to his 
&ther*s house, where another meeting was com- 
m^iced. Mr. Smith, the elder, had been in 
the circuit fiilfilling his appointment as a local- 
preacher. His feelings may be imagined when, 
on entering his dweUing, the first objects which 
presented themselves were two of his children, in 
deep agony of soul, who, with strong cries, were 
pouring out their hearts before God« One of 
them was the prodigal, — upon whom he had ex- 
pended so many tears and prayers, and for whom 
he had undergone such deep anxiety. God 
heard the prayers of the distressed youth that 
n^ht, and brought him into glorious liberty, fill- 
ing his heart with peace and joy in believing. 
The next day he was again brought into bond- 
age, by giving way for a moment to the hastiness 
of his temper, and for a while he walked in 
great darkness and disquiet. He was, however, 
by the advice and intercession of some Christian 
friends, encouraged again to trust in the atone- 
ment of Christ,, and the comfort of the Holy 
Spirit once more returned to his soul. From 
that time, there is reason to believe, to the day 
of his death, he walked uninterruptedly in the 
light of God's countenance. 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



I 



Perhaps these pages may fall into the hands of 
some pioiiB parent, who has to mourn over the 
irreligion of a dear cliild. To such, the conver- 
sion of John Smith ought to be a source of the 
liighest encouragement. No condition, surely, 
can he marked by amore obvious alienation from 
the spirit and practice of Christianity, than that 
in whicli the mercy of God found him. In his 
case, there is the strongest illustration of the 
honour which the Ahnighty will put upon the 
labours of godly parents. The Holy Spirit is 
the giver of pious and compimctious recollections. 
Christ expre^ly promised, that the Comforter 
shoidd recall to the minds of his disciples what- 
soever he had declared to them during his per- 
sonal ministry.* The instructions of pious 
parents are treasured up in the secret cells of 
memory, hidden it is true for a time, and perhaps 
supposed to be forgotten. But the time will 
come, when the energy of the blessed Spirit will 
quicken them, and they shall stand forth, in the 
sudden broad light of heaven, endued with accu- 
mulated power, to astonish and confound the 
heart of the careless and ungodly child. It may 
be in the hour of sickness, or in some other time 
of darkness; it may be when shame and want 
shall have driven away the companions of his dis- 
sipatiou. He may be far from the influence of 
Christian instructors, or Christian example. He 
• Jolin siv. 26. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. . 9 

may have hardened his heart, and stiffened his 
neck, and given himself over to the companion- 
ship of the infidel and scoffer; but there is no 
condition so remote from piety, as not to be 
within the reach of the mercy of God, and He 
has promised his Spirit to the seed of Jacob, and 
his blessing to the oJSspring of his servants.* 



11. 



BARNSLEY. 1812—1813. 

In seeking to accoimt for the various forms 
which Christianity assumes in different indivi- 
duals, much Ught may usually be gained by con- 
sidering the condition of each, before his conver- 
sion to God, and the more remarkable circiun- 
stances attendant upon that gracious change. 
The events preceding and immediately concjir- 
rent with this great transition, in the experience 
of the subject of this sketch, without doubt, 
served to give, to a considerable degree, a colour 
to the opinions and feelings of his subsequent 
Christian course. It is not imlikely, that the 
enlarged view which he was, at all times, enabled 
to realize of the fulness and extent of divine 

* Isa. xliv. 3. 
B 5 



10 MEMOIRS OF THE 

mercy, vm originally presented to his mind, by 
a reference to the extreme degradation of his 
nnregenerate state; and the freeness and urg- 
ency of his invitetions to sinners, however vile, 
might have pardy arisen from a peculiarly Uvely 
Ze of the greataess of the gracVofSt, ex- 
hibited in his own case. Of him it might em- 
phatically be said, as of the woman who had 
been a sinner, and for the same reason, that he 
" loved much." The foregoing facts enable us 
also to account for his strong attachment to 
prayer meetings, and for the high estimation in 
which he held them as means of grace. Nor was 
it the least important feature of the converting 
operation of God's Spirit in his soul, that it was 
at once powerful and rapid. This was, no doubt, 
one reason for the force and frequency with 
which, in after life, he insisted on the excdlency 
of God's " quick way" of saving men. 

One of the first and most striking evidences of 
the divine change whiqh had taken place in his 
heart, was an insatiable appetite for the word of 
God. His long neglected Bible was now re- 
sorted to, as a source of the highest delight. 
On the day after he obtained the evidence of 
the favour of God, he read about thirty chap- 
ters. He kept the sacred voliune upon the 
coimter of the shop in which he was a servant, 
and at every opportunity flew to it with the most 
ardent desire and relish. He naturally possessed 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 11 

a very quick and retentive memory, and at thi^ 
time he learned several of the New Testament ' 
epistles. The practice of committing to memory 
large portions of the Scriptures he continued in 
after years, and found it productive of great 
comfort and advantage. His earnest love of 
God's book remained with him during the whole 
of his life, and his acquaintance with it was re- 
markably extensive and perfect. 

He also became distinguished for his habitual 
devotion. This was in his case peculiarly neces- 
sary. When his former sensualizing and degrad- 
ing course of life ia considered, and the steadfast 
alienation of his mind from God, as well as the 
natural strength of his passions,— it is not too 
much to affirm, that he required an extraordi- 
nary measure of inward religion. Persons of 
constitutional equanimity and generally moral 
ccmduct, cannot calculate on the temptations and 
difficulties which await a babe in Christ, of the 
character of John Smith. The measure of grace 
which suffices to maintain them, in a regular 
course of consistent, and it may be even eminent 
goodness, would have been totally inadequate to 
a successful encounter with the obstacles which 
crowded his path. The constant sense of his 
peril appears to have been exceedingly vivid on 
his mind. He lived, therefore, in jealous watch- 
fuhiess, and spent a large portion of his leisure 
hours in intercourse with Heaven. In retired 



12 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



fields, in woods, and other places of concealment, 
he was accustomed to wrestle with God, till he 
was copiously baptized by the Spirit. His very 
intimate friend, tlie Rev. W. H. Clarkson, of 
Nottingham, states, that " one day, soon after his 
conversion, being under peculiar temptation, he 
retired into a cavern, where he continued for a 
considerable time in prayer, till he felt such an 
overshadowing of tiie divine presence, as quite 
overwhelmed him ; and he has been heard to say," 
adds Mr. C, " that had he not often had such 
visits from thfc Lord, he never should have been 
able to have persevered in the Christian warfare." 
Another of the qualities which distinguished 
his subsequent life, and which now began to ma- 
nifest itself, was his concern for the condition of 
sinners. Upon liis conversion, he had renounced 
the spirit and occupations of his former associ- 
ates, but he did not allow them to hear of the 
change in liis views and feelings merely through 
the medium of a third party. He took every 
opportunity of visiting and conversing with them 
on the concerns of their souls. He artlessly de- 
tailed what God had done for him; he reproved 
their vices, entreated them to abandon their sin- 
ful course of life, and assured them of the readi- 
ness of the Saviour to receive them. His affec- 
tionate expostiilations were not without success. 
Two of his former companions he had the hap- 
piness of bringing under the influence of divine 



REV. JOHN SMITH. IS 

grace, and of seeing united to the church of 
.Christ;— the first fruits of a mighty harvest. 

Having become sensible also of the value of 
mental ddtivation, and of his responsibility for 
the exercise of his intellectual powers, he re* 
ferred vrith great regret, to the time which had 
been so entirely lost to improvement of this 
kind. Under the influence of his new principles, 
and with his characteristic buoyancy of hope, he 
diligently appUed himself to study, particularly 
to the study of the English language^ and he 
succeeded in inducing several other young per- 
sons in the neighbourhood of Bamsley, to devote 
their leisure hours, which had before been spent 
in vanity or sin, to the acquisition of usefiil 
knowledge. 

It is not uncommon for young Christians to 
imagine, that there are certain excellencies and 
habits which, in all their degrees, belong exclu- 
sively to a highly miatured state of piety; and 
hence they do not labour to attain those mental 
and moral qualities, which are perfectly within 
the reach of present faith and diligence. They 
appear to suppose, that religion is a series of 
novelties, and that, in the regular sequence of 
cause and effect, they shall partake of them 
severally and consecutively; — that, in short, 
the elements of exalted piety are, to a certain 
extent, widely different from those of a less 
mature spiritual condition. They, therefore, rest 



14 MEMOIRS OF THE 

contiented, though consciously destitute of many 
qualities .which the word of God commends, and 
which the experience of other Christians ex- 
hibits ; and they live in the vain hope of hereafter 
retrieving opportunities which they at present 
neglect, and of obtaining that good to which they 
do not at present aspire. But where is the Chris- 
tian who has ever been eminent by the operation 
or under the influence of such opinions ? The 
most robust man possesses no greater number 
of bodily members than the infant just bom; 
and from this scriptural analogy, as weU as from 
the testimony of experience, we may conclude 
that, in general, he only can expect to attain 
any exalted condition of piety or usefulness, who 
labours to possess all the essential elements of 
perfection in his spiritual infancy. 

There was no characteristic of the most strik- 
ing and successful part of Mr. Smith's life, the 
germ of which may not be readily discovered at 
this time. Of course, he obtained more perspi- 
cuous and exalted views of the truth ; his faith 
was more powerftil; his affections were more 
spiritualized, refined, and intense; he Entered 
more fully into the designs of God, and enjoyed 
more perfect access to Him, at a maturer period 
of his Christian career; but he was even now 
marked by Christian courage, zeal, activity, and 
benevolence;— by love of God's word, delight in 
prayer, simplicity of faith, deep concern for the 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 15 

aouls of men, and axdent desire for mental im- 
provement; and these were the identical features 
of his character which afterwards made his path 
so bright, and which now shed so pure and im- 
troubled a lustre over his memory. 

It amounts, therefore, .to almost a moral cer- 
tainty, that had his views of the rudiments of 
piety been less comprehensive or less practical, 
— ^had he contented himself, in this stage of his 
Qiristian life, with walking merely on the verge 
of experience, — ^had he postponed his efforts 
after an entire Christianity, to some remote 
and indefinite period,— had he not, in fine, made 
religion in its integrity, the alpha and omega of 
his desires and pursuits, he would never have 
attained the eminence in the church which mul- 
titudes afterwards delighted to witness, ackAow- 
ledge, and admire. The current mistakes on 
this subject, no one more fully discerned or more 
deeply lamented than Mr. Smith. To the com- 
piler of these memoirs, he has often said, " We 
begin to live too late:" — a melancholy truth, 
equally applicable to those who are laying up 
stores for futurity, which are now either useless 
or unemployed, and to those who neglect pre- 
sent opportimities, and dream of some virtue in 
the lapse of time, which shall complete the array 
of excellencies, for the perfection of which they 
are not now solicitous. 

As Mr. Smith had learned to esteem the em- 



16 MEMOms OF THE 

ployment and cultivation of his mind a re%i6us 
duty, so, as his piety increased, his desire for 
this species of improvement became more re- 
markable. He was now, in several respects, a 
character so interesting as to attract the notice 
of some pious persons of considerable intelli- 
gence, who probably discerned in him the in- 
dications of future service to the church and the 
world. Having particularly observed his dili- 
gence in the acquisition of knowledge, they re- 
commended that he should be removed to a situ- 
ation more favourable to mental improvement 
than that which he then occupied. He was ac- 
cordingly, in May, 1813, placed under the care 
of Mr. James Sigston, of Leeds, being at that 
time in the twentieth year of his age. 



III. 

LEEDS. 1813—1814. 

The views entertained by the subject of these 
memoirs, on the duty of intellectual cultivation, 
are particularly worthy the attention of all who 
admired his zeal and who emulate his example. 
Ignorance and mental imbeciUty, though some- 
times associated with Christianity, are no auxili- 
aries to it. The religion of the New Testament, 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 17 

though it lias frequently found a race of men in 
a state of intellectual prostration, lias never left 
them in that condition. On the contrary, those 
nations for whose elevation in this particular, 
many unsuccessful attempts have been made by 
ordinary means, have been gradually raised by 
the influence of scriptural piety to a command- 
ing situation in the ranks of science and philoso- 
phy; and it is not too much to affirm, that the 
world at large has been incomparably more in- 
debted to religion, for all that exalts man as a 
thinking being, than to all other causes com- 
bined. It has given characters, grammar, and 
Kterature to the most ferocious savages. It has 
converted the wandering barbarian into a peace- 
able citizen, a mechanic, a philosopher. The 
purest forms of jurisprudence, and the noblest 
systems of political government, it has estab- 
lished and fostered; and it has not only extri- 
cated man from the deepest vice, but it has also 
exalted him from the most obtuse stupidity into 
the world of reason, contemplation, and poetry. 
The most excellent talent which the aU-wise 
God has bestowed upon us, next to the capacity 
for loving and enjoying himself, is the abihty to 
contemplate and, to a certain limit, to under- 
stand his character, both in his word and in his 
works; and for the use of this talent he holds us 
responsible. The instructed Christian also has 
sources of religious enjoyment, to which others 



18 MEMOIRS OF THE 

are strangers. He possesses the ability to recom- 
mend his faith to those whose minds would repel 
the counsels of less cultivated persons. His 
views of the divine character are ample and lucid, 
beyond what others can conceive. He has an 
armour both offensive and defensive agaiast in- 
fidelity, of which others camiot avail themselves, 
and the elements of a higher steadfastness of 
character than that of ordinary Christians. 

Nor is it any argument against intellectual 
cultivation, that we rarely find it imited with 
amplicity of piety, power of faith, and fervency 
of zeal. Were these the characteristics of Chris- 
tians in general, and were intellectual men the 
only persons of low spiritual attainments, there 
would be force and propriety in such an objec- 
tion. But alas, how little is there of these ex- 
cellencies among the mass of professors ! How 
complex and obscure are their notions of God's 
plan of saving men ! How feeble is their faith, 
and how cold their charity! That the majority 
of Christians of cultivated minds are defective 
likewise, is therefore only in melancholy con- 
formity to the rest of the church. It is readily 
admitted that imsanctified learning is a very great 
evil, and that the proportion of grace required by 
each individual depends partly on the number 
and power of the talents which he is called to 
devote to the service of God. A half-instructed 
man also has, without doubt, numerous tempta- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 19 

lions to self-dependance ; but when the requisite 
and promised influence of the Holy Spirit ac- 
companies the lawftil use of study, Christianity 
assumes a higher and more influential character, 
and those who thus employ the talent committed 
to their trust, become, in the " great house " of 
God, not only " vessels of gold," intrinsically va^ 
luable, but also " vessels of honour, fit for the 
Master's use." 

Some who may peruse these remarks are pro- 
bably placed in circumstances fax more encourag- 
ing than he whose character has suggested them. 
It was not till he had nearly arrived at manhood 
that he discerned the importance of mental cul- 
ture and discipline. He had formed no habits of 
application ; in fact, all his previous pursuits had 
tended to sensualize, distract, and debase him. 
He had lost the most valuable, because the most 
impressible and the least occupied, part of his 
life. His mind had ceased to exhibit the duc- 
tility of boyhood, and this was the more import- 
ant in his case, since he had never possessed an 
easily modelled character. Under these disad- 
vantages, it is no matter of surprise, that he did 
not' make that high degree of improvement 
which others, in different circumstances, may 
without difficulty realize; and if, at any future 
period of his life, he was deemed deficient in in- 
tellectual character and attainments, it was not 
from the want of a substratum of good sound 



20 MEMOIRS OF THE 

sense/ nor of a correct estimate of the value of 
human learning. He has often lamented to the 
writer of these pages, what he esteemed his in- 
tellectual inferiority; and, from the statement of 
an early and intiidate friend, it appears, that, 
only a short time before his death, he expressed 
his regret that he had not attained that degree 
of mental improvement of which, had his cir- 
cumstances been different, he felt himself to have 
been capable. That which would call forth such 
expressions from a man of such ardent zeal, and 
such extensive usefulness, is not surely a matter 
of small moment. Nay more, with his practical 
views, it is certain that he not only considered 
the qualifications in question not likely to be 
detrimental to his personal religion, or his ser- 
vice to the church, but greatly promotive both of 
the one and the other. 

Mr. Smith's situation at Mr. Sigston's aca- 
demy was highly gratifying to himself; and it is 
not a little honourable to him, that he was 
pleased to be considered a school-boy at such an 
age. He here had the opportunity of attending 
the means of grace, in connexion with the ex- 
cellent society of Leeds. He was brought Into 
association with some singularly pious and useful 
characters, and, among others, with the late 
eminent and deeply lamented David Stoner. 
Mr. Stoner was at this time an assistant in M&r. 
Sigston's academy; and here a friendship was 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 21 

commenced between them which, I doubt not, 
has been renewed where there is no possibility 
of its interruption. To the subject of these 
pages such an intimacy was of great service, in 
an intellectual and literary, as well as in a higher 
sense. Many of his leisure hours were spent 
with his excellent and judicious friend in diligent 
research; and there can be no doubt that this 
association was deeply interesting and mutually 
helpfril. Although in some points of character 
strikingly dissimilar, there were others in which 
they pleasingly resembled each other. Mr. 
Stoner was of a reserved temper. — Mr. Smith 
open as the day. The former was melancholic ; 
the latter highly sanguine. The dark and de- 
pressing aspect of subjects in general seemed to 
affect the one ; the bright and cheering to im- 
press the other. Mr. Stoner was the more intel- 
lectually gifted man, — Mr. Smith the happier 
Christian. The habits of their youth had been 
as opposite as possible, and the result was what 
may be readily anticipated. Both were gems of 
the first order, but one of them had only juft 
been extracted from the mine. On the other 
hand, they were about the same age, — ^had each 
been indebted to the influence of pious parents, 
— ^possessed in many respects similarly stirring 
views of divine truth, — had the same untiring 
zeal, — were eminently owned of God, and, as the 
most melancholy part of the parallel, both were 



22 MEMOIRS OF THE 

cut off in the prime of life, while their glory was 
fresh in them. 

In the letter to his parents announcing his 
arrival at Leeds, bearing date July 15th, 1813, 
Mr. Smith states that he had been the subject of 
powerful temptations. This could scarcely be A 
matter of surprise, except to those who are ^o- 
rant of Satan's devices. Upon entering into a 
situation so novel, being associated with many 
strangers, and occupied in a way in some respects 
unusuisd, it would have been wonderful had the 
case been different. Every new form of society 
into which we are introduced, calls for the exer- 
tion of those graces of the Holy Spirit, which 
before have perhaps been the least cultivated, 
and these exercises are permitted in order to 
bring into fiill action the power of the entire 
Christian man. As, however, the subject of 
these memoirs had entered upon his new situa- 
ation in the spirit of simple dependance upon 
God, so was he enabled to triumph over his spi- 
ritual foes. After having stated his temptations, 
Ms mind, by a natural and pleasing transition, 
adverts to the joy of his Christian hope, and the 
abundance of his consolations ; and, in the con- 
clu£aon of his letter, he says, " In a short time 
the warfare of life will be over. A few more 
conflicts and we shall be in glory. I feel at pre- 
sent truly happy in my God. Tears of gratitude 
flow from my eyes for his loving-kindness to- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. S3 

wards me. Pray that God may help me, for I 
wish to spend and be spent for him.'* 

In a letter, dated September 4th of the same 
year, he describes his fcdth as depending too 
much on the state of his feelings, — an error to 
which all young Christians, and particularly per- 
sons like himself, of great constitutional vivacity, 
are peculiarly liable. His testimony of his Chris- 
tian experience is, however, on the whole very 
satis&ctory. The following is an extract : " My 
soul is panting after that mind which was in 
Christ ; in consequence, I meet with many oppo- 
sitions &om Satan, but the Lord is present with 
me, and supports me constantly under every diffi- 
culty. Though I believe that in Christ ' all ful- 
ness dwells,' I do not sufficiently look to him foj 
help and salvation. When I am tempted, I am 
frequently cast down for a short time ; my faith 
diminishes, and I have not that confidence in 
God as when every thing goes on, or seems to 
go on, well with me. But when I come simply 
to the Lord, make my case known to him, ac- 
knowledfi^e my weakness, plead the merit of the 
ato^eml. and beUeve o/his naane, he daUvers 
me from temptation, lifts upon me the light of 
his countenance, and causes me to rejoice in him 
as my salvation. I can come to him through 
Jesus Christ, and call him my Father. * The 
Spirit itself beareth witness with my spirit that 
I am a child of God.'" 



ii MEMOIRS OF THE 

In the latter part of this letter he speaks of 
having commenced the study of Latin. In this 
language I believe he made no considerable pro- 
ficiency. In after years he had a wish to make 
himself acquainted with Greek and Hebrew; but 
he found that his other occupations would not 
allow him sufficient time to gratify this desire. 
He however succeeded in attaining a perfect ac- 
quaintance with his own language; and a gen- 
tleman of classical education, who enjoyed his 
intimacy at a subsequent period, remarked, that 
of all men whom he had ever known, Mr. Smith 
possessed the most accurate and extensive syn- 
tactical knowledge. He had also a high relish 
for the best English writers, both in theology 
and general literature. His taste for poetry was 
chaste aad classical, and he had a feeUng of its 
beauties, fex superior to that of many more per- 
fectedly cultivated minds. 

For several months after the above date, 
there is nothing in Mr. Smith's correspondence 
so striking as to demand insertion here. It will 
be sufficient to say, that, in general, it affijrds 
interesting evidence of his Christian progress, of 
great artlessness and sincerity, and of increas- 
ing devotedness to God. In the mean time, 
he diligently prosecuted his studies, and was 
deemed qualified to act occasionally as a teacher 
in the school. After the midsummer vacation of 
1814, he became a regular assistant, but before 



REV. JOHN SMITH. S5 

this he had b^un to preach. The great and 
responsible occupation of the ministry he under- 
took with much fear and hesitation. The first 
time it had been arranged for him to address a 
congregation, he could not summon sufficient 
resolution to fulfil his engagement. At the advice 
«nd entreaty of some, of his friends, he a second 
time promised to make the attempt ; but it is 
probable that had it not been for the remon- 
strance of his friend Mr. Stoner, he would not 
even then have ventured. " As the time ap- 
proached, he yielded again to timidity, and 
retired to the teachers' room, intending not to 
make his appearance at the place appointed. 
Mr. Stoner was in the room. ' I thought,' said 
he to Mr. Smith, * that you had agreed to preach 
to-night.' *Yes,' said the other with much 
hesitation and embarrassment, * but I must give 
it up.' ^ What,' rejoined Mr. Stoner, with se- 
vere and powerful emphasis, ^ do you mean then 
to ruin yourself? ' 'This pointed question, rest- 
ing a compliance with acknowledged duty on a 
regard to personal safety, produced the desired 
result.* 

The place at which Mr. Smith commenced 
his public labours was a school-room in Park 
Lane, where Mr. Stoner himself, some time 
before, had preached his first sermon. His 
text was. Proverbs xviii. 24, " There is a friend 

* Stoker's Memoirs, c. ill. 
C 



^ MEMOIRS OF THE 

that sticketh closer than a brother." The em- 
barrassment which he felt upon this occasion, 
was most painful both to himself and his hearers. 
After having proceeded with great difficulty for 
some short time, he was compelled to tell the 
congregation that he could not address them 
any longer, and he sat down in a state of dis^ 
tress^ such as may be anticipated £rom so hum- 
bling an issue of a first attempt. His want tji 
suitable expressions seemed to be the cause of 
his &ilure in this instance; and indeed for 
several years afterwards, he was not unfrequently 
straitened in his pidpit labours from the same 
circumstance. 



IV. 

LEEDS— OULTON. 1814—1810. 

Although Mr. Smith has left no record of 
those exercises of mind which preceded hi» 
entrance into the ministry, yet from documents 
of a later date, as well as from the character 
which he at this time sustained, there is no 
difficulty in accounting for the reluctance with 
which he undertook it* His habits of natural 
feeling will not allow the supposition that his 
hesitation proceeded frc»n the absence of mere 



REV. JOHN SMITH. S7 

animal courage. The ardour of his piety 
equally forbids the idea that he wanted the 
necessary concern for the souls of men. But 
his mind was deeply impressed by a sense of 
the seriousness of the undertaking, and his 
humble views of himself^ naturally led him to 
shrink from it. Nor will this be matter of sur- 
prise to any enlightened man. The office of 
the Christian minister is connected with the 
highest honour, interest, and peril. It is the 
institution of God himself, for the conveyance 
and proclamation of the most important mes- 
sage that ever stirred the energies, or woke 
the attention of apostate man. This message 
has to be expounded, illustrated, vindicated, 
and enforced. It is capable of an infinite 
variety of aspects, without losing its identity, 
and is thus to be adapted to the incalculable 
diversity of human character, intellect, and des- 
titution. Nay, the honour of being " workers 
together with God" is of itself so great, that it is 
no wonder that they who attentively contemplate 
it, should be overwhelmed by its ponderousness. 
The Christian minister is the herald o{ judg- 
menty — severe, and irrevocable; — execution, — 
omnipotent and resistless; — eternity , — ^myste- 
rious and terrible! For a single sinner, — ^iso- 
lated from the human family, — ^without influence 
either of good or evil, — to be lost, is an event, 
to shadow forth the horror of which, it would not 

c 2 



28 MEMOIRS OF THE 

suffice " for the sun to veil his face and the moon 
her brightness, or to cover the ocean with mourn* 
ing or the heaven with sackcloth." Nor, " were 
all nature to become animated and vocal, would it 
be possible for her to utter a groan too deep, or a 
cry too piercing, to fiimish an adequate idea of 
the magnitude and extent of such a catastrophe."* 
But no sinner can be so separated from his 
fellows: he is one in an extended series, the 
moral character of the succession of which he 
may eternally determine; and the most insig- 
nificant of men may thus cast into the balance 
the poise which shall bring down the destinies 
of multitudes of deathless spirits. Such are 
the interests which depend upon a Christian 
minister. The consequences of his fidelity or 
■neglect for ever extend themselves over gene- 
rations yet unborn. The founding of empires, 
or the overthrow of dynasties, is lighter than 
the " airiest gossamer," compared with the 
amount of good or ill which he is capable of 
achieving. It is marvellous, therefore, not that 
some holy men enter upOn the ministerial office 
with great reluctance, but that any should be 
able to endure the consciousness of a respon*- 
sibility so tremendous. 

The ill success of Mr. Smith's first attempt 
to deliver a sermon, of course tended to in- 
crease his indisposition to the work of the 

♦ Robert Hall. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 29'. 

ministry, and it was probably some time before 
lie made a second. It was not till the Christmas 
quarterly meeting following, that he was pro- 
posed to be taken on the plan, as a probation- 
ary local preacher. His name was introduced 
at the local preachers' meeting by Mr. William 
Nelson, who had been his fellow assistant at 
Mr. Sigston's, and who was at the time gra- 
duaUy sinking under the power of a disease, 
which ultimately proved fatal. Mr. Smith, who 
was spending the vacation with his parents, 
received the intelligence of his having been 
appointed to preach a trial sermon, in a letter 
from his dying friend, whose case had just then 
been declared hopeless by his medical attend- 
ants. Mr. N. in the conclusion of his commu- 
nication says, " It is settled that you are to take 
my plan. I hope to live to see you return, but 
that is only known to God." This entrance, 
upon the more regular work of a local preacher, 
must have been very affecting to Mr. Smith. 
A solemn bequest was thus conunitted to his 
trust ; and if the spirits of those who die in the 
Lord are allowed to trace the steps of their 
survivors, the fidelity of the subject of these 
memoirs must have given a spring-tide of glad- 
ness to the heart of him, whom he was thus 
impressively called to succeed. 

In the first letter sent by Mr. S. to his 
parents after the vacation, dated February 21st, 



so MEMOIRS OF THE 

18159 lie gives an account of the death of Mr. 
Nelson, with whom, in the interval, he had 
had much profitable intercourse. " I was with 
him," says Mr. S«, "a short time before he 
died: he seemed at that time to experience a 
good deal of pain. When I parted firom him, 
I said, * I hope the Lord supports you.' * He 
does,' he said with great energy : * God only 
knows how long He intends me to linger here 
in pain, but I am quite resigned. The will of 
the Lord be dpne ! ' He died," adds Mr. S. 
" triumphing in the redeeming blood." 

In the same letter he alludes to his having 
preached at both the large chapels in Leeds. 
In the former instance, he preached his trial 
sermon; and though he states that he was 
under the influence of much fear, yet he adds 
a fervent expression of thankfulness for con- 
scious divine assistance. This effort seems to 
have met with the approbation of those who 
were present, and among others, of the late 
Rev. W. GriflSth, then the superintendent of 
the Leeds circuit, who being unable to fiiMl 
his appointment at Hunslet the following Sun- 
day, sent Mr. Smith in his place. 

In the latter part of the communication, to 
which reference has just been made, Mr. S. 
offers a few sentences of judicious and pointed 
counsel to a young friend, on the subject of his 
studies, which serve to show the deep interest 



RKT. JOHN SMITH. 3f 

wliicli he felt in the intellectual improrement 
of those over whom he had influence ; and with 
great kindness and modesty, he proffers whatever 
assistance he might in fixture be able to afford. 
Of his own experience he says, '^ I thank God 
for his goodness to me. He still keeps my feet 
in the narrow path, and I trust will to the end. 
He often causes me to rejoice in the hope of 
Aiture glory, and I am hungering and thirsting 
after a larger earnest of it. I want to be entirely 
the Lord's. — I think I am in the way of Pro- 
vidence: — I have but little time, but I would 
improve it to great advantage. Lord, help me.*' 
The following is an extract firom a letter, 
dated May 24th, 1815:— "I thought I would 
defer writing for a few days, that I might give 
you a little information respecting the watch- 
n^ht which was held last Monday. In the 
afternoon we had a local preachers* meeting, 
at which I was highly gratified and greatly 
benefited. At seven o'clock, Mr. Dawson 
preached firom John vi. 63. ^ It is the spirit 
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.' 
God was with him, and accompanied his word 
to the hearts of the congregation, and we had 
a refireshing season firom the presence of the 
Lord. Mr. D. considered the church as the 
body, Christ as the head, and the Holy Ghost 
as the animating principle. He observed, that 
the operations of the Spirit might be seen in 



37 MEMOIRS OF THK 

the ministers, ordinances, and members of the 
<;hurch: — ^ministers, in their qualifications for 
the ministry, their call to the ministry, the 
principal subjects, and the success of their 
ministry, &c. After the sermon, two excellent 
exhortations were given, and five persons ex- 
ercised in prayer. Blessed be God, I think I 
never felt more determined by grace to live for 
God. Oh for wisdom ! Oh for power fi-om on 
high ! According to your request, I have sent 
you a plan. You wiU perceive that I am still 
appointed to hold an important office. * Who 
is sufficient for these things?' May I ever 
hang dependant upon God ! Amen." 

Mr. Smith's religious friends now considered 
him as called to a wider sphere of usefulness, 
and it was proposed that he should enter the 
itinerant work. In these views he appears to 
have acquiesced without any very considerable 
hesitation. Upon the death of Mr. Ault, one 
of the first Wesleyan missionaries to Ceylon, 
he was deemed a suitable person to supply the 
vacancy. He was applied to accordingly, and 
evinced the utmost readiness to comply with 
the request, provided his parents could be in- 
duced to accede to it. No insuperable difficulty 
presented itself from this quarter, but the idea 
was abandoned, in consequence of the question- 
able state of his health. Some short time, 
before, he had had the meazles. This disorder 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 33 

had left a cough and other unpleasant symptoms, 
and a medical* gentleman of the highest character, 
upon being consulted, gave it as his opinion, 
that a tropical climate would, imder these cir- 
cumstances, be amsuitable to Mr. Smith's con- 
stitution. 

During the whole of the time in which Mr. 
S. remained at Leeds, by those not intimately 
acquainted with him, " he was merely" (to em^ 
ploy the words of an attached friend) " noticed 
as an amiable pious youth, whose manners were 
distinguished by peculiar frankness, accompanied 
by the signs of an affectionate heart and bland^ 
ness of disposition." The following is the tes- 
timony of Mr. Sigston, whose opportunities for 
observing him were of course frequent and 
ample. " From the commencement he mani- 
fested an ardent desire to improve his mind, and 
especially with reference to the study of divinity. 
His general deportment was very exemplaiy, 
and he will long live in the recollection of 
several who then became intimately acquainted 
with him. There was one trait in his character 
which every Christian minister would do well to 
imitate, I mean his constant endeavour to pro- 
mote the salvation of sinners. For this he 
studied, prayed, and preached, and I have often 
heard him agonize for souls. In this particular, 
I would humbly pray that his mantle may fall 
upon those whom he has left behind." 

c5 



Si MEMOIRS OF THE 

In the beginning of the year 1816, Mr. Smith 
engaged himself a» an assistant in a seminary 
at Oulton, in the Wakefield circuit. As soon 
M he entered upon this situation, he interested 
hunaelf deeply in the spiritual, as well as intel- 
lectual improvement of his pupils. He fre- 
quently took occasion to talk to them on religious 
subjects, both in private and when together. 
Several were much impressed by his affectionate 
counsels, and one or two began to meet in class. 
In a letter to his parents, dated February 20th, 
1 8 16, he thus speaks of his engagements and 
prospects, ^* My situation is remarkably plea- 
sant : the duties it imposes on me I find no 
difficulty to perform. God has dealt kindly 
with me, * The lines have fallen unto me in 
pleasant places, and I have a goodly heritage.' 
I have frequent opportunities of meeting with 
his people, and He has met with me and blessed 
me. Blessed be God, I trust he has begun a 
good work in the minds of some of the boys. 
When I speak to them about the salvation of 
tiieir souls, some of them frequently begin to 
/weep, and many of them say they never had 
such feelings before. I have a strong confidence 
that B. G. is powermlly influenced by Him who 
hath said, ' none shall pluck them out of my 
hand/ He has met i^ class twice, and is still 
determined by the grace of God to go forward. 
Blessed God, thou lovest young disciples: — 



%ET. JOHN SMITH. 35 

'»ay he be kept by thy mighty power * through 
£uth to eternal salvation.' I feel my heart is 
engaged in the service of God. He has a right 

to ALL.*" 

The situation of Mr. S. at Oulton, however, 
was, in several respects, less feivourable to im- 
provement than that which he filled at Leeds. 
His opportunities for associating with pious 
people^ and especially those of cultivated minds, 
were much less frequent; nor did he enjoy 
an equal measure of bodily health. Still his 
thirst for knowledge was insatiable, and as &r 
as his circumstances admitted, he assiduously 
occupied himself with reading and study. He 
had the satis&ction of maintaining an epistolary 
correspondence with his friend Mr. Stoner, who 
was now an itinerant preacher in the Hohn* 
firth circuit. He also became increasingly 
acceptable as a local preacher. Those of lus 
pupils who had manifested reUgious desires, 
continued to aiFord gratifying evidence of their 
sincerity and resolution, and above all, his own 
spirit was more abundantly enriched with bless- 
ing from on high. " Religion," he remarks in 
his correspondence at this period, « demands my 
&rst attention. It has my first attention. I 
hope while I Kve, I shall be employed for God 
and the best interests of my fellow creatures. 
Pray that the Lord would direct me into the way 
in which he would have me walk in this respect.'* 



36 MEMOIRS OF TH£i 

His mind was not yet quite made up as to hi[* 
duty to the heathen world, though, with unaf^ 
fected modesty, he states it as his opinion that 
the wish of the missionary committee to employ 
him would immediately cease, if they only knew 
him better. He concludes his remarks on this 
subject with the devout ejaculation, " To thy 
glory may I live, O Lord my God." 

In the course of this year, he became quick- 
ened to seek the full power of the cleansing 
blood of Christ and the utter extirpation of the 
carnal' mind. In a letter to Cudworth, bearing 
date October 6th, 1816, he says, " My heart is 
given to God. I am seeking and longing for 
all the mind which was in Jesus Christ. Blessed 
be God, I am encouraged by his gracious pro- 
mises to persevere in seeking full salvation. I 
long to experience this purity of heart. For 
this I pray, read, study, watch, and trust. It 
is thy work, blessed God ; — let me enjoy it. In 
your prayers do not forget him who blesses God 
for such parents, and who daily prays for you." 

In the year 1815 — 16 there was a gracious 
revival of the work of God in the city and cir- 
cuit of York. At the conference of 1816 there 
were three hundred and fifty members in society 
more than twelve months previously. It was 
found necessary to erect an additional chapel, and 
in the autumn of this year, the commodious 
place of worship in Skeldergate was opened. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 87 

The labours of another preacher were in conse- 
quence required; and application being made 
to the proper quarter, Mr. Smith was appointed 
to assist the Rev. Messrs. Lessey, sen. John Nel- 
son, and Stones, who were already occupied in 
this interesting field of Christian exertion. 



V. 



YORK. 1816—1817. 

The life of every man has its epochs; and 
•perhaps in no class of facts, is the Providence 
of God more strikingly illustrated, than in the 
arrangement of those events, which, either 
singly, or in connexion with a series, give the 
colour to the characters and conditions of men, 
in this life and beyond the grave. Nothing can 
be less important in itself, nothing, according to 
human judgment, likely to be more insigni- 
ficant in its results, than the incidents, which 
thus often direct the course, or impel the tide 
of the most momentous of himian interests. 
It follows, that no event, however apparently 
trivial, should be disregarded ; — it forms one 
link in a mystic chain, the connexions of which 
we may not at present discern, but which never- 



38 MEMOIRS OF THE 

theless in its succession, will be connected with 
our best hope and our highest desire. No ad- 
venture therefore is so small as not to demand 
divine direction. God is to be acknowledged in 
ALL our ways ; and it may be that in tho^e very 
particulars, which we foolishly deem too insig- 
nificant to require his sanction, he will bring 
our boasted wisdom to nought, and even allow 
the " serpent " to sting us, while we " lean on 
the wall ** of our own house.* History is rich 
in illustrations of this subject. The festivities 
of Babylon proved fatal to Alexander, after he 
had escaped the dangers of a hundred fights. — 
Caesar overcame the barbarians and Pompey, 
and in the midst of his honours, was slaughtered 
in the senate house. — ^The delay of a few hours 
detained in Britain a discontented puritan, who 
in the reign of Charles I. was about to exile 
-himself to new England. That man was Oliver 
Cromwell. — Bruce the traveller, unhurt by the 
thousand perils of the sea and the wilderness, was 
killed by a slip of the foot on his own staircase. 
But while to the man of presumptuous mind, 
there is often latent danger where he least sus- 
pects it, to a spirit of humble and conscientious 
trust in God and reference to his will, divine 
direction and divine defence are indubitably 
ensured. While the one stumbles in the broad 
day, the other walks seciure in the thickest 

* Amos, V. 19. 



RET. JOHN SMITH. 99 

darkness ; and while the one is overthrown by 
the most insignificant agencies, the other passes 
unhurt through the whirlwind and the earth- 
q\iake. It has never been the happiness of the 
compiler of these pages, to meet with an indi- 
vidual^ who so fully embodied these views, as 
his eminent and lamented friend. He intro- 
duced God into all things ; sought his direction 
on the meanest, as well as on the most important 
subjects ; and although his life does not exhibit 
any of those remarkable coincidences, which we 
dignify by the title of " peculiar providences," 
yet, to one who attentively surveys it, there 
will be no difficulty in tracing the continued 
Readings of the divine hand, — like a stream of 
«lvery Ught flowing through sunshine and gloom, 
— ^in all its periods. . 

An interesting illustration of this feature of 
his character is found in the following state- 
ment, communicated by a person who knew 
him fiuniliarly. — " I remember," says this friend, 
'^ his noticing some step which he had taken, in 
itself right, but in which he had not first of all 
ascertained the will of God, — ^as the chief error 
of his religious life, the effect of which he traced 
through his subsequent experience. Well as I 
knew him before, nothing ever marked so strongly 
to my mind, the unreprovable and earnest cha- 
racter of the whole of his Christian course, as 
his thus singling out an omission, which in the 



40 MEMOIRS OF the: 

experience of Christians generally would I fear 
have excited little notice,, and certainly been 
soon forgotten." 

We have already referred to the great epoch 
of Mr. Smith's life as a man, — ^his conversion to 
God. His appointment to the York circuit 
was the most important event in the course of' 
his ministry, — ^an event in which it would be 
scepticism not to recognise the finger of God. 
Hitherto we have contemplated him only as 
comparatively an ordinary character and an 
ordinary Christian: we have now to observe 
him assuming a higher ground, and coming 
under the influence of those principles, which 
were so remarkable and conspicuous in the suc- 
ceeding periods of his life. When he came to 
York, he was in no respect esteemed a dis- 
tinguished man. His talents were generally 
considered below mediocrity ; in fact he was not 
thought qualified for the ministerial duties of a 
circuit, possessing so considerable a share of 
intelligence. Nor was he extraordinarily zea- 
lous ; and his preaching possessed nothing of 
that forcible and stimulating character, which 
afterwards rendered it singular. In addition to 
tliis, he laboured imder extraordinary diflidence ; 
and Mr. Stones states, that when it was his turn 
to preach in the city on a week eveiiing, he 
could never simimon sufficient resolution to 
moimt the pulpit, if one of his colleagues was 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 41 

likely to be present, and in such cases, the 
preacher who was disengaged usually had to oc- 
cupy his place. 

StiU he had an active mind, and was diUgent 
in promoting prayer meetings, visiting the sick, 
&c. What was of still greater moment, he was 
artless and sincere, — a man of one motive and 
one desire, and he had capabilities for great 
energy which only waited to be called into 
action, and directed aright. Had the most 
diligent and acute investigation been employed 
in reference to his situation at the commence- 
ment of the itinerant life, he could not have 
been placed where, according to human judg- 
ment, he would have enjoyed the advantages 
which surrounded him at York. Tliis circuit 
has been for many years, in some respects, 
peculiarly interesting. There is a simplicity, 
a fervour, a forbearance, and a tenderness in 
the character of the people, which render its 
recollections very dear to many who have 
laboured among them. At the time to which 
qur narration refers, there was an unusual degree 
of religious feeling, expectation, and desire in the 
neighbourhood ; and these circimistances were 
highly conducive to a valuable impression on the 
character of Mr. Smith, at this critical period 
of his ministerial history. York is also inse- 
parably associated with the memory of several 
eminent saints, of whom the Lord will record. 



4S MEMOIRS OF THE 

when he ** writeth up the people,'* that they 
were " bom there." Under the influence of one 
of these, Mr. S. came in a peculiar degrecj — I 
mean the late Mr. R. Burdsall, — a, man whose 
name in that part of Yorkshire is as ointment 
jK>med forth. 

But that which particularly tended to form 
the character, both personal and ministerial, of 
the subject of these memoirs, was his associa- 
tion with the late Rev. John Nelson. This 
distinguished Christian and successful minister, 
discerned in Mr. S. the elements of an energetic 
and usefiil agent for Christ, and though they 
were then without order, or method, or direc- 
tion, he gave them an impulse and arrangement, 
which, in the course of a short time, issued in 
the formation of one of the most powerful and 
beneficent characters, that in recent times has 
arisen among us. 

There are many zealous preachers, with 
whom Mr. S. might have been associated, who 
would have failed to produce any thing like a 
revolution of his views and Jiabits; and had 
not Mr. Nelson's character possessed a peculiar 
adaptation, perhaps I might say, affinity to the 
native elements of his own, the probability is, 
that even he would not have succeeded in his 
attempt to mould a mind so constitutionally 
daring and independant. It is worthy of remark 
also, that Mr. Smith's first impressions were 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 43 

ratl^r unfitvouraUe, than otherwise, to the in- 
fluence which his revered friend afterwards 
exerted. Nor was it till Mr. S. had heard him 
preach several times, and till especially he had 
seen the working of Mr, Nelson's principles, — 
for he was even now in a degree a practical 
man, — that his prejudice entirely gave way. 
And then, to render more deep the admiration 
of Mr. Nelson, which originated in observations 
on his public ministrations, his youthful col- 
league was struck with the nobleness, generosity, 
and tenderness of his nature, his exalted views 
of the fulness and glory of the atonement, the 
energy of his &ith, the originality of his concep- 
tions, and his extensive and practical acquaint- 
ance with humtfn nature. In short, Mr. Nelson 
became his friend, and then there was no 
difficulty in the case. The noblest natures are 
the most fiilly capable of yielding to the power 
of Christian affection. Love lays his hand on 
the lion's mane, and compels him to submit to 
the yoke. 

The influence of Mr. Nelson, and the other 
Christian friends, who at this time contributed 
to model Mr. Smith's personal Christianity 
and public exertions, appears to have operated 
in two ways. He became a man of increased 
fervour and assiduity in prayer. His diligence 
in closet duties, in the first place, arose, partly 
at least, from a sense of constant and immi* 



44 MEMOIRS OF THE 

nent danger. Devotion had now become more 
ftdly his element. He engaged more jfrequently, 
and more at length, in intercourse with God, 
and usually had delightful access to the throne 
of grace. Under the benign and quickening 
influence of these exercises, his piety rapidly 
matured: his hunger and thirst after righte- 
ousness increased, and he laboured diligently, 
giving up his desires and energies, to the 
pursuit of entire holiness. According to the 
testimony of his early and endeared friend, the 
Rev. W. H. Clarkson, — ^with whom he at this 
time became acquainted, — it was in the course 
of the nine months he spent at York, that 
he entered into the enjoyment of perfect love. 

God will always honour a Resemblance to 
himself; and it must be admitted, that in the 
absence of a considerable measure of this re- 
semblance, no man was ever extensively useftd. 
But it does not follow that a holy minister 
must necessarily be a very successful one ; nor, 
in the case of the subject of these pages, would 
that view of his service to the church be the 
true one, which centred exclusively in his per- 
sonal devotedness to God. " This indeed," as 
one of his friends remarks, " is a truth, but it 
is not the whole truth." The change which Mr. 
S. at this time underwent, was not confined to 
a higher attainment of the divine image; it 
extended itself to his views, his studies, and 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 4f5 

his style of preaching. The amplitude and 
energy of the first, will be developed in the 
course of our narrative. Of the second, it 
may be sufficient to say, thai he now began to 
study hiunan nature as it w,, rather than as it 
is delineated in books. He discerned the 
necessity of knowing man in his general cha- 
racter, — ^his weakness, depravity, and capabili- 
ties; — of acquainting himself especially with 
the vulnerable points in die sinner s heart, 
and the varied modes of address, and modifi- 
' cations of personal feeling, by which he might 
probably lay hold on the. most powerful human 
passions and prejudices. He set himself also 
to consider the character and circumstances of 
each of the congregations to whom he was 
called to minister, and sought in his own heart, 
the indications of the necessities, and the key 
to the affections of others. He learned the 
use of prayer, as a means for ascertaining the 
description of truth which was adapted to the 
conditions of his several collections of liearers. 
In short, he became a man of bold and success- 
fill experiment on human natiure, and ceased 
to estimate all preaching, and indeed all minis- 
terial labour, except as it produced saving 
effects. 

" Previous to his coming to York," says Mr. 
Clarkson, " he appeared to have studied the 
artificial science of sermonizing, rather than 



46 MEMOIRS OF THK 

the divine art of winning souls to Christ. In 
his intercourse with Mr. Nelson, he got his 
mind fully enlightened, as to the gran4 design 
of the Christian ministry, and as to the manner 
in which it was mpst likely to be accomplished.^ 
Another friend, whose abilities and opportu- 
nities for ascertaining the measure of his in- 
tellectual stature were of, an unusual order, 
thus speaks on the subject of the style of 
preaching which he now assumed. — "It was 
from no inability to construct a regular and 
expanded discourse, axicording to the taste slid 
practice of the day, that he confined himself to 
the simple, but fervid and impressive style of 
preaching, which he adopted. At the com- 
mencement of his. ministerial career, his ser- 
mons were more elaborate in their structure, 
but although I forget the particular circum- 
stances which, as he told me, induced him to 
alter his plan, I know that he was decided by 
a conviction, that in so doing the great end of 
preaching would be more ftiQy accomplished. 
The change therefore was one of principle ; and 
for the sake of this, he was content to forego 
the reputation of advantages, which even the 
spiritual part of the church are but too apt to 
magnify and deem indispensable, and to ac- 
quiesce vnllingly in being thought destitute of 
talents, which he could not but be conscious 
were in his power. I know no harder ^ lesson 



REV. .JOHN SMITH. 4 1 

that humility can teach/ or self-denial submit 
to learn.'' 

Oi[ course all these changes, so material and 
permanent, were not effected at once. It took 
much time, much anxiety, much experiment, 
many tears, and a more maturely instructed 
£dth, fully to complete them. But it was at 
this time that the revolution of character com- 
menced, to the perfecting of which, a number 
of causes subsequently conspired. Among these 
may be reckoned, as one of influence, what the 
firiend, firom whom I have just quoted, supposes 
to have been the original cause of the alteration 
in Mr. Smith's style of preaching. The follow- 
ing is the result of that person's observation on 
the subject, some years after the date under 
which we now write. " A conviction where his 
own strength lay, induced him, for the most 
part, to pretermit those regular homiletical 
forms, which axe deemed (perhaps too uniformly 
so) essential to a public discourse ; and the 
ardour of his mind hurried him at once into the 
heart of his subject. My own impression is, 
that as his expectation of success, was in a pe- 
culiar degree from the aids and effiision of the 
Spirit, the style of preaching he adopted left 
him more at liberty, both to exercise such de- 
pendance, and to dwell on and realize to himself 
and others, those appropriate truths through 
which alone he expected the Holy Spirit to 



48 MEMOIRS OF THE 

work upon their minds, and that it was this con- 
sideration principally that dictated the change." 
The former part of these observations, however, 
must be understood to apply specifically, only 
to an early and comparatively immature stage 
of his ministerial history. In more recent 
years, (as will appear in the sequel,) he added 
to his other excellencies, the recommendation of 
regularity in the form and arrangement of his 
discourses. 

The following are extracts from his corre- 
spondence vnth his parents, and from a few 
private memoranda of the state of his religious 
experience. The reader will here find, as well 
the occasional indications of the opinions to 
which reference has just been made, as evidences 
of a pleasing measure of advancement in know- 
ledge and love. The first of these extracts, is 
from a letter announcing his arrival at York, 
and the commencement of his labours there. 
It shows with how low views of himself, with 
what determination to deal rigidly with his own 
character, and vnth what pious resolution, he 
entered on the great work of an intinerant 
preacher. * 

To HIS PARENTS. — " iVoz?. 18, 1816. Vaxious 
have been the exercises of my mind. I think 
my confidence in the Lord is a little strength- 
ened. I am more and more convinced of the 
.absolute necessity of being clear respecting npiy 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 40 

own salvation ; and, blessed be God, I am say- 
ing, * Lord, I am thine ; save me ! ' The people 
are very kind ; I am only a&aid that my coming 
among them will prevent some other person 
from coming, who would be more use^. I 
feel, however, resolved to be diligent, to lay 
myself out for usefulness in every possible way, 
and to give myself into the hands of God. 
Never did I need yoiu* prayers so much as I do 
at present." 

To THE SAME.— "jD^c. 28, 1816. Since I 
wrote to you, I have not been very well. I 
have had a very bad cough : it has disqualified 
me in a great measure for reading and study. 
This has made me very uneasy: I have spent 
some almost sleepless nights. I have thought 
if God had called me to preach, he would hav^ 
blessed me with better bodily health. But, 
blessed be God, I have been much encouraged 
with seeing and hearing that the Lord conde- 
scends to work by me. K it please the Lord 
to use me, he has a right to me. He shall 

have all; body, soul, time, talents, — all I 

am reconciled to God by the death of his Son : 
I am seeking to be conformed to the image of 
my Saviour: Christ is precious to me at this 
moment. I do not cease to give thanks for 
you, making mention of you in my prayers. 

^^ Jan. 3, 1817. My mind this day has been 
unsettled. I anticipate many difficulties in the 

D 



work ill which I am engaged. ' Wlio is sof- 
ficient for these things?' / am more fully con- 
vinced of the neees»ity of degcribing character. 
What shall I do to know the hearts of men? 
how shall I know my own? This I nmst know. 
Lord, show it unto me, for Thou alone art able, 

"11. Tlie Lord has been exceedingly kind 
to me this day ; I have , had some precious 
seasons in private. Never did I feel more, 
never I think so much of the power of Gxid as 
at the prayer meeting to-night. My confidence 
in the Lord is stronger, but I want a clearer 
manifestation of his sanctifying presence. Oh 
for this killing and quickening word t Mr. 
Nelson prayed for it to-night." 

Here it is worthy of notice, that in the 
experience of Mr. S., not only in the case just 
quoted, but in multitudes of other instances, 
a time of refreshing in public was preceded bj 
special visitation in secret. The connexion 
between the two is understood, more or less, 
by all Christians, but upon bis mind it was 
impressed at all times, with peculiar emphaais, 
and in the following pages it will be found 
frequently alluded to, in different forms of ex- 
pression. 

"Jan. 15. Yesterday and to-day I have ex- 
perienced much uneasiness of mind. I wish to 
please God, but I fear I am not where I ought 
to be. It matters not what I hear or n^wt I 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 51 

read : I have to do with God. It is a personal 
concern. I shall quickly be gone ; then where, 
or what shall I be ? Oh Eternity ! 

*' 21. I have had this day a renewed sense 
of the &TOur of God, and a foretaste of the rest 
from inbred sin. The blessing seemed to be 
very near. Oh that I may be enabled to lay 
hold of it to-night!'' 

To HIS PARENTS. — " Jan. 23. The Lord is 
reviving his work in my souL I am longing 
for an increased conformity to my Saviour. I 
want; more feeling for poor sinners. I must 
look to Him who had not where to lay his head. 
I must view him in the garden, behold him at 
Pilate's bar, see him nailed to the cross, hear 
him say, * Father, forgive them, for they know 
not what they do,' and the heart-rending cry, 
*My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken 
me!' It is this that melts the stony heart. 
God grant that we may ever be properly in- 
fluenced by it!....The Lord has lately brought 
many souls to himself in York. We are ex- 
pectLg a signal out-pouring of his Holy Spirit. 
Oh that a gracious shower may very soon 
descend upon us 1....I have heard Mr. Nelson 
preach some such sermons as I never heard 
before. I never see my littleness as a preacher 
under any man so much as under Mr. N. He 

has the unction — this makes him great He 

tells me that I must bless God for barren times. 

D 2 



52 MEMOIRS OF THE 

Mr. John Burdsall was at York last week, and- 
from him I got some important directions re- 
specting study. He recommended a few books 
to me, some of which I have procured. I am 
to write to him in a short time to let him know 
how I come on, &c. &c. 

''Feb. \2, My mind has been much com- 
posed and stayed upon God for several days 
past. My confidence in Him has been much 
increased. I feel conscious of my inability for 
the great work in which I am engaged, but He 
has all wisdom and power, and in Him I trust 
If He have called me to preach the gospel, he 
will qualify me ; if not, He will, I trust, show 
me, and save my soul. Blessed be God ! " 

To HIS PARJENTS. — ''Feb, 14. My soul is 
alive to God. Of late the Lord has revived 
his work in my soul, especially in private 
devotion. Never was I more fully convinced 
of the absolute necessity of personal holiness 
of heart and life. Oh this being dead unto 
sin, and alive to God through faith in Jesus 
Christ ! The work in which I am engaged is 
the most important in the universe, yet I feel 
encouraged to put my trust in the Lord whose 
work it is, and who has engaged to give grace 
according to my day. 

" 26. Various indeed have been my exercises 
of mind during the last few days, but, blessed 
be God, my confidence in Him is stronger. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 53 

Oh this preaching ! I have an increasing sense 
of my inabiKty. May it drive me to God, 
instead of sinking my mind into a dejected 
state! 

" March 2. I feel happy in God. I can trust 
in Christ for my own salvation. But I am 
much concerned about preaching. Oh that 
the Lord would give me more satisfactory evi- 
dence of my call to this important work! I 
have for some time past thought that I was 
thrust out too soon. 

" 9. My soul is longing, yea, panting after 
God, yet I want more ardent desires. I long 
to see souls converted to God. I want inore 
sympathy. I drag my cold and hard heart to 
Mount Calvary ; if the bleeding Lamb cannot 
warm and melt it, nothing can. I want more 
of the dying love of Christ shed abroad in my 
heart. Lord, help me. J£ thou canst use me, 
here I am at thy disposal ' Sanctify me wholly 
body soul and spirit, and preserve me blameless 
to the coming of the Lord Jesus.' 

" April 3. I am thankful that I am in my 
closet at half past nine o'clock. Oh that I may 
be able to cultivate habits of regularity! [In 
allusion to his exercises of mind about preach- 
ing he adds — ] I think surely no preacher was 
ever in my situation. Blessed be God, I can 
cast my soul on the atoning sacrifice of Christ., 
' Jesus, to thee my soyl looks up.' " 



54 MEMOIRS OF THE 

To HIS PARENTS. " April 8. Oh the happi* 
ness to know that my sins are put away by the 
sacrifice of Christ ! Of this I have not a shadow 

of a doubt I want more of the Spirit: for 

this I pray, for this I read, for this I believe, 
and I want to believe more. I must believe 
for salvation; not be saved and then believe 
I have a painfiil sense of my inability for the 
important work in which I am engaged; but 
it is the work of God. He is all-sufficient : if 
He has called me to it, He will help me ; if not, 
He will send me home again, and He will save 
me. I am in his hands, bless the Lord! I 
never was more sensible of the necessity of 
experiencing the truths of the gospel, in order 
to preach them successfully to others. A ccwi- 
scious salvation is absolutely necessary." 

The preceding extracts furnish a very in- 
adequate idea of the anguish undergone by 
Mr. S. in reference to the ministerial work. 
This was only known to his own heart, and to 
Him, by whom the depths of man's severest 
feeling are as perfectly understood as his light- 
est and most transient emotion. As an illus- 
tration of the extreme character of this distress, 
it will suffice to say, that, with all the consola- 
tion which his faith could command, and all the 
support arising ifrom confidence in God — ^which 
it does not appear that he ever lost, even in the 
time of his greatest conflict, — ^he was neverthe- 



RBV. MHN SHITH. 



55 



B 80 overwhelmed by the exercises of his mind, 
^at, as he afteriA'ards confessed, life itself waa 
burdensome, and he wished liimsell' a tree, or 
any thing but a being endowed with sensation. 
On one occasion, as he told the writer of this 
sketch, having heard a strain of very touching 
music, he longed to be changed into some 
l)Iaintive instrument, wliich nilght without re- 
proof or restraint continually breathe forth its 
melancholy tones. 

It is probable that Mr. Smith's views of the 
importance of the Christian ministry were, iu 
the first place, as penetratuig as the measure 
of his piety would allow. Had they been more 
impressive at an earlier period, he wo\Ud 
scarcely have been able at all to have endured 
them ; and at all hazards, he would most 
likely have refused to engage in an occupation 
so responsible. Yet that he was from the 
b^inning convinced of his call to tlie work, 
seems sufficiently obvious from his yielding to 
Mr. Stoner's remonstrance on the subject,* 
which would have been without significance 
or point, had not he to whom it was addressed 
been conscious of the obligation of the case. 
But his perceptions afterwards became so ex- 
panded and comprehensive, that he was in the 
highest degree dissatisfied with his original 
«-iews, and seriously doubted whether an iin- 
■ Pago 23, rap-o. 



56 MEMOIRS OF THE 

pression, so feeble as that which he at first 
experienced, could be really a divine designa- 
tion to the ministerial office. 

It may rationally be questioned, whether any 
person of Mr. Smith's temperament, ever became 
in a high degree a minister of the Spirit, without 
some such* exercises as those to which he was so 
long and painfully subjected. It is readily ad- 
mitted, that there are some diligent and devoted 
ministers, who have never known much, if any 
thing, of such misgivings of heart. They have 
never had that poignant and distressing con- 
sciousness of their own inadequacy, — that earn- 
est and continued wish, if it were possible, to 
withdraw themselves from a situation of so much 
personal hazard, and connected with so high 
trust and accountabihty. These, however, are 
for the most part men of equable temper, to 
whose minds a state of repose appears most con- 
genial. But on the other hand, it seems neces- 
sary, that persons of sanguine temperament, of 
great ardour and buoyancy, should imdergo a 
process of a more permanently impressive order. 
When therefore they have made every effort 
towards ministerial usefulness, when the powers 
of their minds have been exerted to the greatest 
possible tension, they are by a sudden and pros- 
trating burst of divine light, given fully to see 
how amazingly short they fall of what the 
ministerial office requires, and how utterly vain. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 57 

considered of themselves, axe all their exertions. 
Such a revelation to a man of even and gentle 
temper would probably cast him into despair; 
while in the case of the others, nothing less will 
save them from a degree of self-<ionfidence, or 
from being satisfied with a comparatively low 
measure of devotedness and success. A power- 
fill and consoling view of God*s sufliciency 
usually comes afterwards, and is accorded in 
proportion to the patient diligence with which 
the former exercises have been undergone, and 
the degree of self-renunciation which they have 
succeeded in producing. 

Independently also of the appropriateness of 
these trials, as the means of preparing a minis- 
ter of the Spirit, sanctified mental confiict is of 
itself greatly conducive to ministerial usefidness. 
No man was ever distinguished, except by suc- 
cessful engagement with difiiculty. The very 
terms which men employ to express their most 
exalted notions of honour, usually involve the 
idea of opposition. Where there is no contest, 
there can be no triumph. No Christian was 
ever eminent, who had not many obstacles ; no 
Christian minister who had not to wrestle with 
powerfid temptation. Temptation, according to 
Martin Luther, is one of the ingredients which 
goes to make a minister ; and so essential did he 
deem it to the completeness of the character, 
that he associated it with the high and unques- 

d5 



58 HfiMOIRS OF TH2 

tionable duties of study and prayer. Hie feU 
lowship of Christ's sufferings produces conformity 
to his death ; the fellowship of Christ's glory in 
its AilnesSy is promised to him who overcomes ; 
and, as well on earth as in heaven, the most 
splendid order of saints are those ^^ who Iiave 
come out of great tribulation."* 

Nor is it difficult to trace, even in the very 

* Hie reader will readily forgive the introduction of the 
following simple yet striking illustration of this subjecti 
from the pen of an eminent and singularly devoted French 
pastor. 

^^ I have before me two stones, which are in imitation of 
precious stones. They are both perfectly alike in colour ; 
they are of the same water, clear, pure and clean ; yet 
there is a marked difference between them, as to their 
lustre and brilliancy. One has a dazzling brightness, 
while the other is dull, so that the eye passes over it, and 
derives no pleasure from the sight What can be the reason 
of such a difference ? It is this. The one is cut but in a 
few facets ; the other has ten times as many. These /oceif 
are produced by a violent operation ; it is requisite to cut, 
to slnoothj and polish. Had these stones been endued with 
life, so as to have been capable of feeling what they under- 
went, tiie one which has received eighty /oce/lf would have 
thought itself very unhappy, and would have envied the 
fate of the other, which, having received but eight, had 
undergone but a tenth part of its sufferings. Nevertheless 
the operation being over, it is done for ever : the difference 
between the two stones always remains strongly marked ; 
that which has suffered but littie, is entirely eclipsed by the 
other, which alone is held in estimation and attracts atten- 
tion."— Oberlin's Memoirs, pp. 123, 124. 



HfeV. JOHN SMITH. 59 

scanty description left bj the subject of these 
memoirsy of the state of his Christian experi* 
ence, the immediate and practical residts of 
the painful exercises to which we have now 
been adverting. One of the most observable 
<rf these is a strong desire for a more deep 
feeling of compassion and sympathy^-more of 
the tender yearning of his blessed Master. As 
Christ suffered being tempted, that he might 
be able to succour those who are tempted, so 
did this faithful servant of Christ seek to 
obtain a higher qualification for his work, by 
the influence of sanctified mental suffering ; 
and he was thus enabled afterwards to comfort 
others with the consolation which he himself 
had received of the Lord. But the results of 
these trials which bore more immediately on 
his ministerial character, were of still higher 
importance. The revelation which he now 
obtained of the greatness and onerousness of 
the office of a Christian preacher appears never 
to have left him. Henceforth he was a man of 
cme object, and no demand involved too great 
labour, no sacrifice was too severe, no oppo- 
sition too determined and complicated, to deter 
him firom diligently pursuing it. On the other 
hand, no man coidd more deeply feel the futility 
of all labour of itself, or seek more diligently 
(or the aid of the Holy Spirit, upon every 
religious work, how small soever it might appear. 



60 MEMOIRS OF THE 

To be a minister of the Spirit was his 
highest ambition, and his constant aim; and 
how fully he became such may be found recorded 
in multitudes of living epistles seen and read of 
all men. 

In the month of May he was by a slight ill- 
ness laid aside from his work for some short 
time. This affliction was probably sanctified to 
the tranquillizing of his mind ; at least after 
this, I find in his papers and correspondence 
no indication of those continually distressing 
anxieties on the subject of the ministerial 
work, which previously preyed on his spirits; 
and though his discouragement was not en- 
tirely removed, yet, as the following extract 
from a letter to his parents will testify, it was 
associated with greater calmness of feeling, and 
more established resolution and hope. 

" York, May 29, 1817.— Of late I have had 
many visits from the Lord, especially in private. 
Mr. Bramwell once said, * If you wish for any 
great and lasting blessing expect it in private.* 
....Many here speak very clearly on entire sanc- 
tification; and I believe give satisfactory evi- 
dence that they are in possession of that blessing. 
Who is a people like unto this people ?....The 
district meeting commenced on Wednesday. I 
was rather afraid that the list of books which I 
had read since I became a travelling preacher, 
would have incurred the censure of the meeting ; 



iiT- ^:':e^ nra €3 



if more clirrct "'-'^ T'^*r. I ^c^^ lOiZir.:! 
I am aasarc-i •:: zit •.rrz:i:ci?- :iin I 

aa ever/ 

WW oj the itfitc: .:' ::.• rLr:.!- It .• tr.c i. 
letter addre*soi t:/ t;.- i.i.ecr •.•: Mr*. Nt-!..«i-. 
ySaEH'tn Ki;i;:rr. ^ri.-. citcrwiri* t»n:L=#r L-- 

wife, and i> now hi* Tm\^rz\'.m w-id:'«. 

"Oh main rain hoiv taxriiiarltv uc^wrrii ii^ar 

• > • 

soul and God. Make Him yonr fnrCii a&d 
associate. Ca^i all vuur c^rr ^c* Hlui ; Ht 
careth for vou. I tin _'i:..i that v^u hate ^'^k- 
an encoura^ring Wew <.»f ihe luintsBs of ihe pn.i- 
fflises. Examine vourMril bv ihe word; vi»ur 
experience by the promises, and your condur: 

by the requisitions My soul i> alive to Gud. 

and I am longing to \k' more confcMiucd t-j the- 
image of my Saviour. I am determintrd by iiw 
gicice of God to aim at souls: a minister «ii 
the gospel is sent to turn men from darkness 
to light, and from the power of Satan to God. 
I feel myself a poor, weak, unworthy, iiu>ig- 
nifieant creature, but if the Lord please to 
employ me. He can make me useful. In Ilini 
I trust, and they that trust in Him shall never 



6S MEMOIRS OF THE 

be confounded/' Then, in allusion to Miss 
H/s engagement at the time in a young ladies* 
boardingHSchool, he adds the following concise 
and pithy directions. — "As it respects the 
business of the school — maintain your autho' 
rity — be attentive — do your pupils all the good 
you can — ^be an original in teaching — use &nii- 
liar illustrations — ^make every thing pleasing, 
and you will succeed." 



VL 

BARNARD CASTLE. 1817—1818. 

At the Conference of 1817, Mr. Smith was 
appointed to the Barnard Castle and Weardale 
circuit. His colleagues were the Rev. Messrs. 
Rogerson, sen. and Elliot. He was now more 
fully thrown on his own resources, and he had 
ample opportimity of ascertaining the value of 
his new views and principles. His circuit was 
in many respects favourable to the experiment. 
It was of considerable extent, and the people 
were simple and lively. They had little of that 
false delicacy which in other places might have 
proved at this period a source of considerable 
discouragement. In general, they appear to 



RfiV. JOHN SMITH. 63 

liave valued the zeal and labours of their new 
minister, and to have in a degree co-operated in 
his plans. From the beginning he was gratified 
with the field of usefiilness in which he had 
been placed. A finely diversified country also 
presented to him those sources of delight which 
to an observant and devout mind, the loveliness 
of creation never fails to open; and on the 
whole he entered upon his work with tranquil- 
lity of mind, and a religious resolution to give 
himself wholly to the duties of his sacred vo- 
cation. 

Although separated in person from his friend 
Mr. Nelson, he still maintained an epistolary 
correspondence with him. Mr. N's first letter 
is so pointed, so characteristic, and so paternal, 
that I think none of my readers will deem the 
insertion of an extract from it irrelevant to our 
present subject. 

"York, Nov. 7, 1817.— My dear Brother, I 
received your welcome epistle ; I bless Grod for 
strengthening your body and toul, and also 
giving you to see some fruit. The gospel of 
God our Saviour preached in faith, will be fol- 
lowed with signs more interesting than even 
taking up serpents, or drinking deadly poison, 
and sustaining no harm thereby. Always go 
sword in hand, and beg of God the power of 
the Spirit, while you raise it to his glory, that 
prejudice with every opposition may be cut 



64 MEMOIRS OF THE 

down. Eye your Captain ; hear his voice; ; fol- 
low closely ; be deaf to the voice of the enemy. 
Now is your time to play the man. Do not 
study until your head aches. Lay your plans — 
short but clear ; look always for divine aid, and 
after you have spread the net, close it with 
great care, that you may there and then bring 
some to shore. I lately heard a good sermon ; 
the net was well spread, and at the close the 
righteous were encouraged, and the wicked 
threatened ; but no attempt was made to catch 
a fish. We had better catch a few fishes vrith 
a little net, than dash with a great one, and let 
them aU slip under or by the side. Preach in 
the Holy Ghost, and before you dismiss your 
audience, offer them salvation now. Remem- 
ber first to convert, and then the good fruit 
will follow : only, the rebel must lay down his 
weapons, yea, all of them, or he will not suc- 
ceed with his Prince; but they may be all 
dropped in a moment. Never lose sight of 
present salvation, nor of God who is to work it. 
Give Him all the glory. Should any attempt 
to praise you, dart immediately to God, ^ Lord, 
I am thine ; save me ! * 

" My soul is kept in peace and purity. I have 
some good times in the new chapel. We are all 
peace; would to God we had prosperity also. 
We had better be saved in a storm than lost in a 
calm. God bless you ; write soon. I am," &c. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 65 

In a letter to his parents, dated, Sept. 3, Mr. 
Smith, after stating his safe arrival, proceeds : — 
^' The day after, I set out for Weardale ; I went 
about twenty miles to a place called High-house. 
I had a very pleasant journey, and was much 
pleased with the romantic scenes which presented 
themselves to my view. It is the finest dale that 
ever I saw. I arrived safe, and met with a 
hearty welcome. I preached on Saturday night, 
and agam on Sunday morning and afternoon. 
You would have been astonished to have seen 
the congregation: there are but a few houses 
about the chapel, and yet there were well 
towards a thousand people. It is the largest 
chapel in the circuit. The people in WeardaJe 
are rather languid : the pressure of the times has 
had an unfavourable influence on their minds, 
but they hope to rise. They are celebrated for 
music up the dale; many of the women sing 

sweetly I came to Barnard Castle yesterday. 

I went to see my colleagues, and we had prayer 
together. I am much pleased with the circuit 
and people. My health, I hope, will be estab- 
lished. My soul is alive, blessed be God. I 
feel myself as a little child, and I have a child- 
like confidence. By the grace of God, I will 
aim at souls. I know you pray for me, and God 
answers you : pray on. Mr. Nelson prays for 
me ; God bless him." 

About the same time I find the following 



66 MEMOIRS OF THE 

private memorandum. — " I feel deeply humbled 
under a sense of my unfaithfiilness ; still I am 
encouraged to put my trust in God. By his 
grace IwiU aim at converting and saving souk 
Oh for more fellow-feeling ! I think my viewi 
of the plan of salvation are clearer, but I want 
more of the Spirit. My health is better than 
I expected. Yesterday and to-day I have heen 
unwell. May the Lord pardon my imprudence, 
and help me to act with caution in fiiture !" 

Caution was indeed the more necessary at this 
time, since his constitution was in a criticd 
state ; and in addition to much travelling, he not 
unfrequently had to preach thrice on the Sab- 
bath, and on every evening of the week besides. 
It would have been a happy circumstance had 
his care of his health — the duty of which he ww 
always most ready to admit — extended itadf 
fully to his public labours. • Unless however he 
had entirely exhausted his strength, and felt the 
immediate results of his extreme exertion, in 
great debihty; or by some other token equally 
palpable, was made sensible of having acted 
imprudently, he does not appear to have been 
aware that he was at all injurii^ himself. Hie 
gradual undermining of his constitution was the 
natural consequence; and thus to the church, 
and the world, was early lost the light and 
guidance of a fair star from the moral hemisphere* 
At the commencement of his labours at Baraaid 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 67 

Ciitley however, his health was generally very 

good. 

Under the date of September ^th he writes 
to his parents :•—'' I am as well as I ever have 
been since I had the meazles ; and I have had I 
think more signal manifestations of the divine 
presence since I came to Barnard Castle than I 
ever hadt Oh unite with me in blessing God for 
his continued <and increased goodness. * Bless 
the Lord^ O my soul, and all that is within me 
bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits ! ' I see there is 
nothing like entering into God's design concern- 
ing us. He wishes to make us perfectly holy^ 
and to fill us with all his fulness. We should 
aim at this ; not merely to get to heaven, but to 
be as fit for heaven as we can be, and to have as 
much of heaven as we can have while in this 
world. In order to this, we must believe much. 
Let us give credit to God's word, and realize the 
blessing in the promise. Let us behold as in a 
glass the glory of the Lord, and be changed into 
the same image firom glory to glory as by the 
Spirit of the Lord. Let us look on Him in 
Jesus Christ — at his love, till our hearts are set 
on fire — at his purity, till we are made pure. 
It is by holding intercourse with God that we 
are transformed into his likeness. Let us come 
¥dth childlike simplicity and confidence. Let 
us plead the blood ! — ^plead the blood ! 



68 MEMOIRS OF THE 

" Blessed be God, it is good news. We axe 
poor, helpless, hell-deserving sinners, but Jesus 
hath died for us — ^for me. Oh the sweetness of 
this ! — ^for me. This makes me love God. It 
constrains me. Let us constantly feel this : — 

* Oh for a heart to praise my God, 

A heart from sin set free ! 
A heart that always feels thy blood 
So freely spilt for me ! * • 

How insignificant the world seems when we 
have much of God!" In another part of the 
same communication, he speaks of his happiness 
with his colleagues, and having now had the 
opportunity of judging more fully on the subject, 
he says, " I beUeve some parts of the circuit 
vdll be very severe in vdnter, but I hope it wiD 
agree with me; At present the country is 
delightful, far more so than the neighbourhood 
of York," &c. 

His anxiety on the subject of preaching had 
not yet entirely left him ; as will appear from 
the following extract from his private papers, 
under the date of October 16 : — " I am humbled 
on account of my vileness, my ignorance, and 
unfaithfulness. I am much concerned on ac- 
count of my inability for the awfully important 
work in which I am engaged. If the Lord be 
not with me, I shall sink. K lie have called 
me to the work, he will stand by me, He will 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 69 

be my helper. Lord, help me to get into, and 
abide in thy will. * Good is the will of the 
Lord.' " 

It sometimes consists with God's good plea- 
sure — and perhaps it is a special act of divine 
sovereignty — to apply with peculiar power to 
the minds of his people, while engaged in devo- 
tion, some appropriate portion or portions of 
Scripture. Those to whom such communica- 
tions are granted, are frequently persons in 
circiunstances of trial, or in some other con- 
dition, which demands .more than ordinary 
direction and comfort. They only who have thus 
heard the voice of God, can form an idea of the 
stability and repose which it communicates to 
the spirit. The subject of these memoirs was 
at this time privileged by this emphatic adap- 
tation of Scripture truth to his condition. In 
two several instances, while engaged in prayer, 
passages of God's word were applied with 
divine power to his mind. The one was, 
Prov. iii. 6, — " In all thy ways acknowledge 
him, and he shall direct thy paths." The 
other. Matt. vi. 33, — " But seek ye first the 
kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all 
these things shall be added unto you." Their 
united influence on the one hand soothed, and 
on the other, stimulated him. From this 
period, I cannot understand that he was ever 
disturbed on the subject of his call to the 



70 MEMOIRS^ OF THE 

ministry, and the following extracts will rear 
dily be admitted as indicative of the quickened 
state of his personal piety. The most inter- 
esting feature of the first, is the emphasis with 
which its writer speaks on the subject of 
humility — that virtue, the perfection of which 
is perhaps of every other in the Christian cha- 
racter, the least enjoyed, and the last attained* 

To HIS PARENTS.—" Oct. 22, 1817. Oh 
what humblings I have had of late ! My soul 
has been in the dust before the Lord, and at 
the same time, I hav^ felt the confidence of a 
little child. I love to be in this state. In 
your class, press the necessity of purity of 
heart; show that it is received and retained 
by faith ; show it to be a privilege. Oh what 
a happiness to be delivered from all anger, 
peevishness, pride, malice, &c., and to be filled 
with gentleness, patience, humility, love, ftc! 
Let us feast ourselves on Jesus. Let us conr 
template him, our infant Saviour in Bethlehem, 
and be hmnbled. Let us listen to him, — * Foxes 
have holes, and the birds of the air have neatSy 
but the Son of Man hath not where to lay htf 
head,' — ^and be humbled. Let us look at bin 
washing his disciples' feet, and be humUed. 
Let us walk with him in the garden, view him 
prostrate on the ground, sweating great drops 
of blood, hear him crying, ^ If it be possible, 
let this cup pass from me,'— and be humUed. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 



Let US behold him on the cross, aud be hum- 
liled ; yet still let us be confident." And this 
is evangebcal humility — since that alone can 
consist with confidence. Nothing can be more 
anti-evangelical than the doctrine which makes 
inbred sin necessary to the production of 
humility. The lowliness of mind which the 
gospel commends is the lowliness of love, and 
not the depression which results from the con- 
sciousness of our own depravity. 

In another part of the same letter, Mr. Smith 
thus speaks of the work of God. " The work 
of the Lord is prospering, especially at Barnard 
Castle. Glory he to God, a spirit of prayer is 
given. Last Tuesday week, four souls obtained 
Uberty: on Sunday night, after preaching, two 
or three, and last night, one. There seems to 
be a good work on the minds of many. Oh 
that God would pom: out his Spirit upon us in 
an abundant manner. There are several seek- 
ing purity of heart; this gladdens me. I am 
expecting to see good days. ...You are in a de- 
plorable state at Cud worth — so many back- 
sliders ! — so many who have been pricked to 
the heart, and yet will not turn to the Lord. 
Oh do not cease to cry to God -. make an 
effort : do not be ashamed to be a fool for 
Christ's sake ! You will remain low if extraor- 
dinary exertions are not made. Extraordinary 
I are not produced by ordinary means." 



72 MEMOIRS OF THE 

• The soundness of these views will be appre- 
ciated by all who have made themselves con- 
versant with the indications of a prosperous and 
promising condition of the work of God. One 
of Mr. Smith's principles was, that the world 
was to be benefited through the agency of the 
church, and that no signal manifestations of 
divine power in awakening and conversion were 
to be expected, except through a quickened 
state of piety among believers. In the forego- 
ing extract, he refers to the means, through the 
divine blessing upon which, we may rationally 
anticipate the salvation of sinners, and the ea- 
largement of the tabernacles of the fsdthfuL 
These are, increased desire after holiness, the 
spirit of prayer, and extraordinary efibrt, among 
the people of God. And if those who are most 
holy, are likely to be the most concerned for 
the salvation of men, and to have most of the 
power of the Holy Ghost — ^if God wiU hear the 
voice of his elect who cry day and night to Him, 
for the outpouring of the Spirit; and if they 
who are most scripturally diligent and energetic 
must be the most successful — ^it follows that 
the principle to which we have just alluded, 
with the practical illustration which accom- 
panies it, is in the most perfect manner borne 
out by scripture and matter of fact. 

The converse also must be equally true, 
that where no sinners are converted, a church 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 73 

must be either defective in its views, or low in 
its attainments. Where there is no influence 
diffiised without, the principle of piety is 
certainly languid within; where there is no 
shining, there is little burning light ; where 
souls are not saved. Christians in general must 
be imperfect in the character or degree of their 
personal religion. The building up of believers 
on their most holy faith, was a principal ob- 
ject of Mr. Smith's ministry; but he never con- 
sidered this species of labour success^, except 
as its results were indicated in the conversion of 
sinners. That edification he justly deemed of a 
very low and questionable order, which was not 
accompanied by a spirit of intercession for those 
who were without God, by '^ the work of fidth 
and the labour of love." He rationally argued, 
that where there were no answers to prayer, 
the throne of grace could not be very ardently 
importuned ; where there was no out-pouring of 
the Spirit, the promise of the Spirit could not 
be very determinately pleaded ; where there was 
no exertion for perishing men, there could not 
be much of the bowels of Jesus Christ. And 
whether that Christian society can be correctly 
esteemed in a high and advancing state of im« 
provement, where prayer is cold and cursory; 
where &ith is weak, and love is listless, it re- 
quires no great sagacity to determine. 
They will have a very partial and incorrect 



view of Mr. Smith's ministry, who suppose thf 
its benefits were wholly confined to those wl 
were awakened and converted through ita 
strumeiitality. It is true, that he embra 
every opportunity of attempting to rouse 
consciences of such as were hardened by 
deceitfuhiess of sin, but he anticipated exi 
sive success, even in tWs respect, only as i 
faith and intercessions of God's people w| 
brought to accompany tiis efforts. His labon 
he knew, could be succeeded or frustrated! 
them alone. Hence, he strove primaxily , 
obtain the quickening influences of the S{ii| 
upon them; nor was he unsuccessful. Had 
been possible that hia exertions for the CQ 
version of sinners should have proved uttel 
unavailing ; had he never succeeded in wi 
the most transient alarm in a stupified 
science, or the smallest desire aftef goodM 
in a depraved heart; had he never ptu( 
one brand from the fire, nor ever pointed 
penitent to the blood of Christ, — still 
memory would be blessed in our Zion, for U 
many instances in which, through his instr 
mentality, the Spirit was " poured upon X 
from on high, and the wilderness" became 
fruitful field;" and what was once esteemed 
" fruitful field," in the comparison was " counta 
for a forest," In short, the retrospect of hi 
labours furnishes the moat satisfactory 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 75 

to Ms dvourite opimon on this subject, that He 
moH certainly and perfectly edifies believers, 
•Ao is most ardently and scriptukally labo- 
fiausfor the conversion of sinners. 

Mr. Smith's experience continued to be, in 
general, happy and prosperous. In one of his 
letters at this time, he says, '' I am sometimes 
oppressed with an overwhelming sense of the 
{Qodness of God. My cheeks arc moistened 
vidi tears of gratitude, and I can call God my 
lather with such a divine sweetness." In 
nother, *' You may be sure that the enemy 
li» been very busy with me ; but, blessed be 
God, I feel power to cast my helpless soul on 
ku mercy, through Jesus Christ." Again, ** I 
We a praying heart, and a childlike confi- 
dence, but I want to be delivered from all 
distrust. I can feelingly say, * Christ died 
far me, and ever liveth to make intercession for 
«e.' Yet I see I know but little, I enjoy but 
fitde compared with what I might know and 
Oijoy; but I wish to proceed; my pri\ileges 
^ unfold, my prospects will brighten. I 
expect to meet with difficulties, but my Saviour 
says, * Be of good cheer, I have overcome.' In 
Us strength I am strong. I have had some 
refreshing seasons of late in private ; these 
greatly encourage me." 

In consequence of the prospects of good 
tilings in Barnard Castle, Mr. S. was betrayed, 

e2 



7G 



MEMOmS OF THE 



at the latter part of the year, into exertions h 
great for his strength, and the result i 
for several weeks he was very unwell, i 
compelled entirely to relinquish his helo 
employment. This affliction, under such ( 
cumstances, was particularly trying to 
but he Siiys of it, in one of his letters, " Upf 
tlie whole, I think I have learned some i 
portant lessons ; it is good for me that I h 
heen afflicted," Of his lahours and pros 
at this time, he remarks, " Blessed he Goc 
am encouraged, because I do not altogetb 
laboiu- in vain. The people in Barnard Caa 
are rising, and increasing a little, I am ii 
creasingly attached to them. Oh that ' 
Lord may fully qualify me for my imporC 
work!" At the beginiung of 1818, "I fed J 
disposition to labour for souls. The people,) 
mean the society, have got a grand impulsa 
and I trust the work is going on. Ride, on nt 
Godl may every house he \-isited, and ever 
heart feel thy power ! " A few weeks aftetfi 
wards, — " The people in Barnard Castle i 
alive to God, and the prospects in some pa 
of the circuit are rather cheering. We want » 
shower of heavenly blessing." 

In the early part of the year 1818, a revival 
of tlte work of God took place in his native 
village. On tliis occasion he writes to his 
father as follows, — " I am glad to hear of yoor 



MBV. JOHN flMlTlt. 77 

r at Cudwortli. Only keep the pco- 
i in action, and you will get on. There U 

t (tanding still. Oh let us come to God for 
: blessings: He is willing to save the 
We must tnnke a noble effort in tbe 
name of God, and we shall not labour in rain. 
Tlie gospel preached in faith must do excru- 
lion. ' Cry aloud, spare not, sound an aJann 
in die holy mouDtaio.' OirtT a prt-iient, Ire<-. 
nd full salvation, and you will see signs and 
nmlcrs. Blessed l)e God, He is doing great 
[tings for us at Barnard Castle. On Suniluy 
last, four souls got into liberty; on Tuesday 
n^bt, at the prayer meeting, seven more. 
Many, I believe, are awakened, and I expwt 
0]e work will go on. My soul is alive to Gud. 
lam longing for more of the life and power of 
pdliness. 1 wish to feel what I preach." 

To TUE SAME.— " April 7, 1818. Blessed 
be God, He is carrying on his work in my 
soul. Of late, I have had some precious iiea- 
Mns both in public and private, 1 want more 
of the spirit of prayer. There is nothing like 
getting filled with the Spirit before we go to 
the house of God, ancl then pleading with God 
in the presence of the people. The Lord is 
deepening his work in the hearts of professors 
among us, and awakening and converting 
sinners. Last Tuesday night, at the prayer 
meeting, there were six souls set at liberty. 



74 MEMOIRS OF THE 

t 

view of Mr. Smith's ministry, who suppose t 
its benefits were wholly confined to those > 
were awakened and converted through its 
strumentahty. It is true, that he embra 
every opportunity of attempting to rouse 
consciences of such as were hardened by 
deceitfulness of sin, but he anticipated exi 
sive success, even in this respect, only as 
faith and intercessions of God's people w 
brought to accompany liis efibrts. His laboi 
he knew, could be succeeded or frustrated 
them alone. Hence, he strove primarily 
obtain the quickening influences of the Sp 
upon them ; nor was he unsuccessfiil. Ha< 
been possible that his exertions for the C' 
version of sinners should have proved utte 
unavailing ; had he never succeeded in wak 
the most transient alarm in a stupified c< 
science, or the smallest desire aftei: goodn 
«« in a depraved heart ; had he never plucl 

one brand firom the fire, nor ever pointec 
penitent to the blood of Christ, — ^still 
memory would be blessed in our Zion, for 1 
many instances in which, through his inst 
mentality, the Spirit was " poured upon 
from on high, and the vdldemess " became * 
frtiitfiil field;" and what was once esteemed 
" fruitful field," in the comparison was " count 
for a forest." In short, the retrospect of j 
labours frimishes the most satis&ctory sancti 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 75 

t 

to his favourite opinion on this subject, that He 
most certainly and perfectly edifies believers, 
who is most ardently and scripturally labo- 
rious/or the conversion of sinners, 

Mr. Smith's experience continued to be, in 
general, happy and prosperous. In one of his 
letters at this time, he says, " I am sometimes 
oppressed with an overwhelming sense of the 
goodness of God. My cheeks are moistened 
with tears of gratitude, and I can call God my 
Father with such a divine sweetness." In 
another, " You may be sure that the enemy 
has been very busy with me ; but, blessed be 
Gt>d, I feel power to cast my helpless soul on 
his mercy, through Jesus Christ." Again, " I 
have a praying heart, and a childlike confi- 
dence, but I want to be delivered from all 
distrust. I can feelingly say, ' Christ died 
for me, and ever liveth to make intercession for 
me.^ Yet I see I know but little, I enjoy but 
little compared with what I might know and 
^oy; but I wish to proceed; my privileges 
will imfold, my prospects will brighten. I 
expect to meet with difficulties, but my Saviour 
says, * Be of good cheer, I have overcome.' In 
his strength I am strong. I have had some 
refreshing seasons of late in private ; these 
greatly encourage me." 

Iq consequence of the prospects of good 
things in Barnard Castle, Mr. S. was betrayed, 

e2 



76 MEMOIRS OF THE 

at the latter part of the year, into exertions too 
great for his strength, and the result was, that 
for several weeks he was very unwell, and 
compelled entirely to relinquish his beloved 
employment. This affliction, under such cir- 
cumstances, was particularly trying to him; 
but he says of it, in one of his letters, " Upon 
the whole, I think I have learned some im« 
portant lessons ; it is good for me that I have 
been afflicted." Of his labours and prospects 
at this time, he remarks, " Blessed be God, I ' 
am encouraged, because I do not altogether 
labour in vain. The people in Barnard Castle 
are rising, and increasing a little. I am in- 
creasingly attached to them. Oh that the 
Lord may fuUy qualify me for my important 
work!" At the beginning of 1818, "I feel a 
disposition to labour for souls. The people, I 
mean the society, have got a grand impulse, 
and I trust the work is going on. Bide, on my 
God! may every house be visited, and every 
heart feel thy power!" A few weeks after- 
wards,-—" The people in Barnard Castle are 
alive to God, and the prospects in some parts 
of the circuit are rather cheering. We want a 
shower of heavenly blessing." 

In the early part of the year 1818, a revival 
of the work of God took place in his native 
viUage. On this occasion he writes to his 
father 93 follows, — " I am glad to h^ar of yoinr 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 77 

prosperity at Cudworth. Only keep the peo- 
ple in action, and you will get on. There is 
no standing stilL Oh let us come to God for 
great blessings: He is willing to save the 
world. We must make a noble effort in the 
name of God, and we shall not labour in vain. 
The gospel preached in faith must do execu- 
tion. ' Cry aloud, spare not, sound an alarm 
in the holy mountain/ Offer a present, free, 
and full salvation, and you will see signs and 
wonders. Blessed be God, He is doing great 
things for us at Barnard Castle. On Sunday 
last, four souls got into liberty; on Tuesday 
night, at the prayer meeting, seven more. 
Many, I believe, are awakened, and I expect 
the work will go on. My soul is alive to God. 
I am longing for more of the life and power of 
godliness. I wish to feel what I preach." 

To THE SAME. — ^^ April 7, 1818. Blessed 
be God, He is carrying on his work in my 
soul. Of late, I have had some precious sea- 
sons both in public and private. I want more 
of the spirit of prayer. There is nothing like 
getting fillfed with the Spirit before we go to 
the house of God, and then pleading with God 
in the presence of the people. The Lord is 
deepening his work in the hearts of professors 
among us, and awakening and converting 
sinners. Last Tuesday night, at the prayer 
meeting, there were six souls set at liberty. 



78 MEMOIRS OF THE 

On Sunday night, I preached a funeral sermcm^ 
from John ix. 4. At the prayer meeting after- 
wards, the Lord brought three into Kberty, 
and, I believe, many others were much affected* 
* This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous 
in our eyes.' " 

To THE SAME. — " April 27, 1818. God is 
still carrying on his good work among us. I 
was much pleased with a woman at Staindrop, 
who was converted as clearly, and in as scrip- 
tural a way as ever I knew any one. I saw 
her the next day : she was still praising God. 
I asked, * How was it that you were made 
happy ? ' She said, * While you were showii^ 
Christ as a Saviour, and telling us to believe 
on him, I thought, I can believe, I can believe. 
Something said, I was to repent longer yet, 
but I said, I think I can believe — I do believe ! 
It CAME, and I believed that God had par- 
doned all my sins.' On the Tuesday following, 
a woman came from the same place to Cock- 
field on purpose to get her sins pardoned. At 
the prayer meeting after preaching, she was 
enabled to believe on Jesus Christ to the 
saving of her soul, and she went home rejoicing 
in God. Oh, let us go on in the name of the 
Lord, and eiqpect present effects; yea, let us 
be restless for the salvation of souls. We shall 
not labour in vain. What condescension in 
God to use such unworthy creatures in the 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 79 

accomplisliment of his designs! The walls of 
Jericho fell at the blowing of rams' horns..... 
Of late, I have had many visits from the Lord. 
I can venture on Christ for deliverance from 
sin, but I want to be filled with all the ftilness 
of God, to have the mind of Christ in me. Oh, 
urge your members to purity of heart! Much 
will be done by a single act of faith in the 
blood of Jesus.^' 

To Miss Hamer.— "/M^y 10, 1818. Let 
us look attentively into our hearts, look into 
the written word, and look up to God for the 
light of the Spirit to shine upon the heart, and 
the word. Whatever we discover in us con- 
trary to the word, let us bring it before the 
Lord, (for we cannot take it away ourselves,) 
and plead with Him until we feel power to 
venture on Jesus for its destruction. When 
God speaks to the inmost soul, * Be clean,* all 
corruption and defilement shall depart, and 
purity shall be difiused through the soul. Let 
us not be discouraged, however frightful our 
hearts may appear, and however feeble and 
helpless we may feel ; Jesus' blood is all- 
cleansing ; Jesus' grace is all-powerful. Jesus 
is ours by faith. God offers him to us. Oh 
let us lay hold of a whole Saviour. Let us 
force ourselves to the foot of the cross, lift up 
our eyes, and look to Jesus till our hearts are 
pierced, to the very bottom, with his dying 



78 MEMOIRS OF THE 



Oil Sunday night, I preached a funeral 
from John ix. 4. At the prayer meeting aAer- 
wards, the Lord brought three into liber^, 
and, I believe, many others were much affected^ 
' This ia the Lord's doing, and it is marveUour 
in our eyes,' " 

To THE SAME.—" April 27, 1818. God if 
still carrying on his good work among us. I 
was much pleased with a woman at Staindrop, 
who was converted as clearly, and in as scrip- 
luml B way aa ever I knew any one. I saw 
her the next d;iy : slie was still prmsiug God. 
I asked, ' How was it that you were inad« 
happy ? ' She said, ' Wliile you were showing- 
Christ as a Saviour, and telling us to believft 
on him, 1 thoi^jht, I can believe, I can believe- 
Something said, I was to reppjit longer yet, 
but I said, I think I can believe— 1 do believe t- 
It camk, and I beUeved that God had par- 
donwl all my sins." On the Tuesday following, 
a woman canw &om the same place to Coct- 
field on purpose to get her sins pardoned. At 
tile prayer meeting after preachijig, she was 
cnablod to Iwlieve on Jesus Christ to the 
sitnng of her souJ, and she weut home rejcncing, 
in God. Oh, lel us go on in die name of the 
Ixwd, luid exi»«^t pr«*nt elR-cts; yea, let iw, 
bff w«ilc«s for the salrat 
not labowr in vain. > 
0\ni to ustf 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 79 

accomplisliment of his designs! The walls of 
Jericho fell at the blowing of rams' horns..... 
Of late, I have had many visits from the Lord. 
I can venture on Christ for deliverance from 
sin, but I want to be filled with all the ftilness 
of God, to have the mind of Christ in me. Oh, 
urge your members to purity of heart ! Much 
will be done by a single act of faith in the 
blood of Jesus.^' 

To Miss Hamer.— "/w^y 10, 1818. Let 
us look attentively into our hearts, look into 
the written word, and look up to God for the 
light of the Spirit to shine upon the heart, and 
the word. Whatever we discover in us con- 
trary to the word, let us bring it before the 
Lord, (for we cannot take it away ourselves,) 
and plead with Him until we feel power to 
venture on Jesus for its destruction. When 
God speaks to the inmost soul, * Be clean,* all 
corruption and defilement shall depart, and 
purity shall be difiused through the soul. Let 
us not be discouraged, however frightful our 
hearts may appear, and however feeble and 
helpless we may feel ; Jesus' blood is all- 
cleansing ; Jesus' grace is all-powerful. Jesus 
is ours by faith. God offers him to us. Oh 
let us lay hold of a whole Saviour. Let us 
force ourselves to the foot of the cross, lift up 
r eyes, and look to Jesus till our hearts are 
d, to the very bottom, with his dying 



80 MEMOIRS OF THE 

love. Let us continue there till his love has 
melted us down, that we may receive and retain 
the impress divine. * Be ye perfect, even as 
your Father which is in heaven is perfect.* 

* Be ye holy, for I am holy.' * For this purpose 
was the Son of God manifested in the flesh, that 
he might,' — ^what? subdue the works of the 
devil? weaken the power of sin in the heart? 
No, but *that he might destroy the works of 
the devil.' Oh then let us say as God says, 

* Destruction — complete destruction to sin ! ' 
Faith which is a continued and conscious act 
will preserve us pure. Let us cry day and 
night to God for this feith — ^perfect faith. We 
shall meet with much opposition. The world 
cannot do with this ; the devil hates this ; but 
few professors will do with this, but the will 
of God! the will of God! Make good use 
of your time — ^live by rule — ^love Jesus with 
all your heart — ^be solicitous to have those 
committed to your care early converted to 
God. I am," &c. 

Mr. Smith this year attended the conference 
which was held at Leeds. A principal reason 
which induced him to do so, was a wish to 
converse with, and receive instructions from, 
the venerable William Bramwell. Of the 
manners of this eminently useful minister, Mr. 
Smith's prepossessions were rather unfavour- 
able; and he thought it not improbable that 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 81 

his inquiries would be met with something 
like austerity. At every expense, however, he 
resolved if possible to gain the information 
which a man of Mr. Bramwell's character 
would alone be able to communicate. Like 
the Athenian who said to his opponent in 
council, "Strike, but hear me;" so he, with 
his characteristic disregard to every tiling but 
improvement, was willing to be rebuked if he 
could but be instructed. He had several op- 
portunities of being in Mr. B.'s society. On 
one occasion, if not oftener, he was accompa- 
nied by Mr. Stoner, . and in this interview the 
distinction between the two j&iends must have 
been sufficiently marked. Mr. Smith asked a 
variety of questions on the subject of Christian 
experience, and the best methods of carrying 
on the work of God. He stated at large his 
own difficulties and plans, proposing inquiries 
on each as it was mentioned. Mr. Bramwell 
looked surprised, but replied in a concise and 
generally in a satisfactory manner. Mr. Stoner 
in the mean time sat by, listening with profound 
attention, and in unbroken silence ; and, as he 
afterwards confessed to him, wondering at the 
readiness with which his friend succeeded in 
drawing forth the Kghts of an experience so 
deep and varied. In the course of a few days 
after this conversation, the treasures of Mr. 
Bramwell's ardent and manly heart were for 

£ 5 



82 MEMOIRS OF THE 

ever sealed to all earthly inquirers by the hand 
of death; and it was an act worthy the close 
of so signally usefiil a life, thus to cast his 
garment on one who ah^ady emulated his spirit, 
and who subsequently, to so great a degree, 
inherited his success. 

The period which Mr. Smith spent at Bar- 
nard Castle, he at this time described to Mr. 
Clarkson as having been the happiest year <rf 
his life. He had been rendered very useful; 
his talents were more ftdly developinir them- 
selves, and his chaxacter L becoL^ more 
perfectly formed. It would therefore have 
been agreeable to all parties for him to have 
been re-appointed to that circuit. The only 
reason which prevented this arrangement was 
the state of his health, which by a situation 
so northerly, and a climate occasionally so 
severe, had in several cases already been in- 
juriously affected. It was thought therefore 
that the southern coast of England was more 
adapted to his present circumstances; and he 
was accordingly appointed to the Brighton cir- 
cuit, under the superintendence of the Rev. 
F. Calder. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 88 



VII. 

BRIGHTON. 1818—1819. 

To a man of nervous mind, and resolute 
decision, nothing seems to give so great an 
increase of determination as the absence of all 
encouragement from without. A feeble spirit 
will fidter in such a situation, but the having 
to rely on his own resources, makes him who 
* is capable of elevation tndy great. Where 
mighty interests — the interests of truth and 
eternity — depend upon the principles which 
such an one has espoused, or the plans which 
he has adopted, his perseverance under dis- 
couragement is the highest moral sublimity; 
the truest and most illustrious heroism. No 
test of strength of miujd is so severe, or so in- 
fallible. An obstinate man may be rendered 
confirmedly pertinacious by contradiction; but 
it is the attribute of nobleness and greatness 
alone, to triumph over neglect, indifference, or 
neutrality. 

The removal of Mr. Smith to the south of 
England was, at this period of his life, the most 
happy arrangement which could have been 
made for the estabUshment of his principles, 



84 MEMOIRS OF THE 

and the completion of his character. The so- 
cieties to which he was now introduced, it 
is true, were able to discern and value minis- 
terial zeal and diligence. They possessed many 
members of great personal deVotedness, whose 
piety was silently but powerfully influential, 
and whose hearts longed for the prosperity of 
Zion. But the appearance among them of 
a man of Mr. Smith's peculiar views, and 
singular modes of operation, was in many re- 
spects a phenomenon. They had no previously 
formed standard of mii^sterial character by 
which he could be measured; there was no 
class under which he could be ranged. They * 
required time ftdly to comprehend the man, 
and his principles. They were at first startled 
and confounded, and of consequence imable 
to come to any correct or even sober judgment 
concerning him. Meanwhile, he was of course 
without any considerable co-operation on their 
part. He was alone ; — a man "to be won- 
dered at." It was now to be tried, whether 
he would sink into an ordinary character, or 
whether he would become more established 
and eminent than he could have been, with the 
assistance and encouragement which, in the 
northern parts of the kingdom, he might at all 
times to a considerable extent have secured. 
It was a crisis of fearfiil importance. Is it too 
much to say, that the destinies of multitudes 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 85 

of immortal men were suspended on its issue ? 
And if those philanthropic spirits who serve 
" the heirs of salvation/' contemplate with the 
deepest concern, the moral crisis of the history 
of an individual, with what anxiety must they 
watch the turning point in the chLcter of a 
minister^ and especially such an one as John 
Smith! All glory to God, the decision in his 
case was worthy a strong and enlightened mind. 
How many will for ever adore that grace, which 
at this time wrought eiTectually in him, the reve- 
lation of the great day alone can determine. 

The following extract from his private pa- 
pers will serve to show, with what pious and 
hupible feeling he entered upon his new si- 
tuation. — "Brighton, Sept. 1, 1818. I am 
ashameji before the Lord on account of my 
unfaithfrdness ; yet I feel encouraged to put 
my trust in Him. He is a God of boundless 
mercy. I have an affecting sense of my own 
inability; the Lord must undertake for me. I 
wish to be useful. By the grace of God I will 
aim at souls. The people here seem very kind, 
but the place is very gay. I know not how to 
proceed. Lord, direct and strengthen me, and 
deliver me from the fear of man. Oh that this 
may be a growing year to my soill, and a year of 
general prosperity throughout the circuit ! *' 

In his superintendent, Mr. Smith found a 
true and stanch friend, who discerned and 



86 MEMOIRS OF THE 

estimated his real character and worth, and who 
has amply contributed to these pages principally 
characteristic notices of the present period. 

At the commencement of his ministry at 
Brighton, Mr. S. seems particularly to have 
dwelt upon the high calling of believers, with 
the hope of producing among them that quick- 
ened feehng which, as has been already noticed, 
he deemed essential to permanent prosperity 
in the church of God. He particularly in- 
sisted on the necessity of Christian perfection; 
and that so frequently and emphatically, that 
at the conclusion of one of his sermons on the 
subject, a member of the congregation met him 
at the foot of the pulpit stairs, and accosted 
him with, " So, Mr. Smith, you have given us 
the old thing over again ! " " Yes," said he, 
with his acccustomed benignant smile, " and 
till all your hearts axe cleansed from sin, you 
shall have it stiU, over and over again." Nor 
were his labours in this respect without en- 
couragement. In one of his first letters to his 
parents, dated October 8, he says, " I trust we 
shall have a revival of the work of God. We 
have had a few drops : several seem to be long- 
ing for purity of heart." 

The foUowihg interesting testimony of the 
state of his own experience, and the fulness 
and force of his views of evangehcal truth, is 
also from the same letter. " Blessed be God, 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 87 

He is carrying on his good work in my soul. 
He has of late poured upon me a spirit of 
wrestling prayer. He has also astonishingly 
answered my prayers. I hang upon Him con- 
tinually, and He keeps my soul in peace. 
There is nothing like getting into, and keeping 
in action. Let us be constantly at work : we 
shall soon have done: the night is coming on 
apace. K our work be done we shall have a 
calm night. The Lord still inclines me to 
offer and urge a present and full salvation. 
The gospel offers nothing less than a full sal- 
vation. We want the faith that cannot ask 
in vain ; a holy panting, labouring, himgering, 
thirsting, and this constantly. Self-denial is 
absolutely necessary. — Do not hear much of 
— * I am unworthy,' in your class. God does 
not save us because we are worthy, but because 
He is bountifiil. God knows that we are im- 
worthy, and therefore offers us the blessings of 
salvation freely. Should we not be nearer the 
truth if we were to say, * I will have a Uttle 
sin to remain — a little pride, anger, love of the 
world, &c ? ' Oh let us say as God says. Destruc- 
tion to sin ! And we must have the whole man 
engaged constantly in the service of God, or we 
shall soon be tainted again." 

Under the date of Nov. 2nd of this year, he 
writes thus to Miss Hamer : — " Last Monday 
morning J. P. died of a cut which he had 



88 MEMOIRS OF THE 

received the week before. I saw him the day 
before he died. I said, * Is the Lord predoiu 
to you in your sufferings?' He replied, *I 
have a steady reUance upon Him.' * Do you 
think you will die ? ' * I have not thought 
much about it, but if I were to die now, I 
should go to heaven.' He was nearly eighteen 
years of age, had met in class about five years, 
and for three years had had a constant sense of 
the approbation of God. 

** While I have been pleading with God, 
I have seen such a fulness in Christ, that I 
have been encouraged to cast my poor soul 
upon him. The Lord is very kind to me, but 
I am like a child who cannot rest, except 
when his father is saying, " My dear child, I 
love you.' I want more faith, God has given 
me the greatest proof of his love in giving his 
only begotten Son to be the propitiation for 

my sins. I must believe whatever I feel... 

All prayer will secure us constant victory. 
Stand firm, and Satan cannot harm you. He 
is a chained enemy. Do not put yourself 
within the reach of danger, and * having done 
all, stand.' Mason's Self-Knowledge will do you 
good. Read your Bible much." 

Of Mr. Smith's personal attachment to the 
word of God, and its influence on his ministry, 
the testimony of Mr. Calder is very striking. 
** The whole force of his mind," Mr. C. remarks. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 89 

" was directed to the object for the accomplish- 
ment of which he undertook the Christian 
ministry — the presenting God's truth to men 
in order to effect the salvation of those who 
heard him. And while he was fully capable of 
luxuriating in the riches of Uterary pleasures, 
he steadily and conscientiously avoided that 
species of reading, which, though innocent in 
itself, was not immediately connected with his 
great work. He would frequently remark to 
me, in relation to any work of a generally in- 
teresting character, — * Yes, it is very good, I 
have no doubt : I shall be glad to read it at a 
fixture period, if God spare my life, but I must 
read my Bible more; I must devour God's 
book, or how can I know his mind. I do not 
legislate for others, but I must be allowed to 
follow my own views on this subject.* The 
result was, a distinctness of conception on the 
subjects of evangelical and experimental reli- 
gion, accompanied by a simplicity, and perspi- 
cuity of statement, I had almost said, unique 
in its kind. His style and manner of preach- 
ing always accorded with the great end of 
leading men to God ; it was emphatically scrip- 
tural, and in the best sense of the term, highly 
theological. Indeed he was a great divine, if 
understanding God's word makes a man such, 
and especially understanding and exhibiting 
God's mode of saving a sinner. 



90 MEMOIRS OF THE 

" His memory was extraordinary : and I 
believe it would have cost him very little 
trouble to have committed any moderate sized 
volume to its storehouse. To God's book his 
pious and devout heart turned as to an ever- 
living fountain of truth and light, to satiate 
and delight his soul. He usually read twelve 
chapters, or the whole of a scripture book in a 
day, and committed a portion of it to memory. 
In consequence of being short-sighted, and 
not able to read when travelling on foot, he 
was accustomed to repeat some considerable 
portion of the sacred oracles as he itinerated 
his circuit ; and when I informed him on one 
occasion, in a village where he met me to 
assist in holding a missionary meeting, that he 
must preach before the pubhc meeting com- 
menced — it being his appointment — he smit 
ingly replied that he had no sermon to preach, 
but that he would go into the pulpit, and repeat 
the epistle of St. James, having just done so 
on the road as he walked to the village. .1 
need scarcely add, that we had not the epistle 
so repeated; yet it ought to be stated, that 
amongst those causes which contributed to the 
wonderful success attending his ministerial 
labours, the aptitude wdth which he could use 
the sword of the Spirit may be deemed not one 
of the least. To souls in distress on accoimt of 
sin, his quotations of scripture, as suited to their 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 91 

state, were smgulaxly appropriate and attended 
with blessed effects. 

" His own views of divine truth might with 
great propriety be described as those of a 
minister of the Spirit. His mode of presenting 
the subject of God*s love to man, his willingness 
to save sinners, the value of the atonement, and 
the power of faith to secure personal salvation, 
as known in its different degrees of justification, 
or entire purity, might well entitle him to the 
designation of a master in Israel." 

Notwithstanding his simplicity, plainness, 
and vehemence, the congregations at Brighton 
increased considerably soon after his arrival. 
Some, no doubt, came from motives of curi- 
osity: many were surprised, and a few were 
terrified. His own feeHngs may be readily 
gathered from the following sentences, from a 
letter to a friend written in the beginning of 
November: " Our congregations increase at 
Brighton, but we are not got into the way, I 
am afraid, of looking for present blessings. This 
18 of the greatest importance. He cannot do 
many mighty works because of our unbeHef. In 
the circuit, I had a prayer meeting after preach- 
ing in every place during my last round ; we saw 
nothing very particular. Perseverance! — We 
must have souls converted!'' 
' Under the influence of this last sentiment, 
he appears constantly to have Uved. Whether 



92 MEMOIRS OF THE 

in the pulpit or in the closet, in social inter- 
course or alone, he never lost sight of the 
great design of his mission. " Of that species of 
preaching," Mr. Calder observes, " which ovij 
produced intellectual pleasure, he had a hxif 
abhorrence." Nothing can be more charac- 
teristic of the man than his remark to a firi^id, 
on sermons in which power of intellect or 
imagination is almost exclusively predominant; 
— "They achieve nothing. Sir." Perfisctty 
capable, as he was, of appreciating what 
was refined and intellectual, a sermon which 
achieved nothing, however characterized by 
taste, argument, eloquence, or even abstract 
and generalizing theology, was to him merely 
as the play of the painted fly in the sunshine^ 
whose parent is a worm and whose life is a day* 
" The importance of the object of his vocaticD 
held his faculties in a state of excitement 
which was too rigid to be affected by lighter 
interests. All his subordinate feelings lost 
their separate existence and operation by fill- 
ing into the grand one. There have not been 
wanting trivial minds who have marked thiB 
as a fault in his character; but he is above 
their sphere of judgment. The invisible spirits 
who fulfil their commission of philanthropy 
among mortals, do not care about the objects 
we so much admire: no more did he, wheff 
the time which he must have devoted to them 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 93 

would have been taken from the. work to which 
he had consecrated his life. Such a sin against 
taste is very fex beyond the reach of common 
saintship to conmiit. It implied an inconceiv- 
able severity of conviction, that he had one 
THING TO DO : and that he, who would do some 
great thing in this short life, must apply him- 
self to the^work with such a concentration of 
his forces, as to idle spectators looks like in- 
sanity.* 

** "Where the results which he desired," says 
Mr. Calder, " did not attend his own ministry, 
he would spend days and nights almost con- 
stantly on his knees, weeping and pleading 
before God; and especially deploring his own 
inadequacy to the great work of saving souls. 
He was at times, when he perceived no move- 
ment in the church, literally in agonies ; travail- 
ing in birth for precious souls, till he saw 
Christ magnified in their salvation. He was 
accustomed to say, that a preacher ought to 
have restless solicitude on the subject of fruit ; 
that God demands this of us, and that wherever 
it is found, it will secure his approbation. How 
far he was right, let the case of Jeremiah testify, 
who said, * If ye will not hear it, my soul shall 
weep in secret places for your pride, and mine 

• A passage from Foster's Essays, pp. 126, 127, accom- 
modated to the present subject by an intelligent and fami- 
liar friend of Mr. S. 



94 MEMOIRS OF THE 

eyes shall weep sore, and run down with tears ;' 
or indeed the Prince of preachers, in his weeping 
over Jerusalem." 

To his parents, who were now as desirous to 
receive his counsel, as they were formerly anxious 
that he should listen to theirs — ^he thus writes, 
Nov. 13th, 1818 : " Have your enemies without: 
allow them no place within. Open the door of 
your heart wide : inyite Christ, yea, beg of him 
to come in and dwell and take up all the place — 
to be Sovereign. He will put down all rule, 
and authority, and bring every thought into 
subjection. — Hear what he says, * Behold, I stand 
at the door and knock : if any man hear my voice 
and open the door, I will come in to him and sup 
with him, and he with me.' Do you believe 
him ? He is more ready to enter than we are 
to receive him. The devil will rage when he 
appears, but we must tear ourselves from our- 
selves, the world, and the devil. When Jesus 
Christ fills the soul, the commandments of God 
are not grievous. You know there are many 
who say, * I desire, I would wish, I would wish 
above all things to serve the Lord.' Now sup- 
pose a man to fall down in your street, and you 
were to hear him say, * I desire, I woidd wish, 
I would wish above all things to get up!* 
What would you say ? Why, * Man, get up, do 
not sit whining there — try — ^make the attempt.' 

" God commands us to be holy ; we cannot 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 95 

make ourselves holy. He has promised to 
make us so : let us enter into his designs. Be 
close with your class: tell them they must be 
saved from sin. You are right respecting look- 
ing to Jesus. This is the way to get, keep, and 
increase in purity. Let us look intensely ^ 
steadily y and constantly to Jesus ; then we shall 
be pervaded with the rays of his glory, and 
reflect his image in the world. *We all with 
open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of 
the Lord, are changed into the same image from 
glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.' 

"Through mercy I continue pretty well. 
The Lord has blessed me with some signal 
revelations of his love in my soul since I came 
to this place. Yesterday, Mr. Adams (who is 
going on a foreign mission) and I had a blessed 
time in Brother D.'s chamber at Lewes. While 
we were pleading with God, and throwing our- 
selves on his mercy and protection. He came 
down, and blessed us abundantly. Oh it is a 
good thing to plead with God ; we want more 
Bramwells, Longdens, Nelsons. God can *do 
for us exceeding abundantly above all that we 
ask or think.' I have had many conflicts— 
Christ is strong, and at hand to deliver. — Pray- 
ing that God may bless you with his great 
salvation, I am," &c. 

" P. S. How comfortable we are in our family I 
Mr. Calder is nothing but kindness to me." 



96 MEMOIRS OF THE 

m 

Of Mr. Smithes humility, and watchful jea- 
lousy over himself, the following prirate me- 
morandum will give some idea. "Z)ec. 6th, 
1818. I am more fully persuaded of the neces- 
sity of looking constantly to Jesus in order to 
be presen-ed from feJling, yet I am a£^d I 
am not sufficiently sensible of the great evil of 
falling. Gracious God, deliver me not up to 
^ile affections ! I wish to be more diligent in 
redeeming the time, and in my studies : I am 
persuaded that much depends on this. I have 
lH?en one of the most unfaithful of all the ser- 
vants of God, yet I am encouraged to come to 
Him, because I ' have an Advocate with ' Hhn, 
* Jesus Christ the righteous,' and 

' Jesu's blood, through earth and skies, 
Mercy, free, boundless mercy cries ! ' " 

In still further illustration of these amiahk 
and Christian qualities, Mr. Calder relates the 
following incident. " During Mr. Smith's re- 
sidence in Brighton, a certain female became 
deeply distressed on account of her condition 
fus a sinner. He deemed it right to pay her 
several visits, in order to instruct and pasj 
v^-ith her. The husband, a violent, imconverted 
man was greatly incensed at these intrusions, 
and, it was said, put Mr. S. out of the house 
bv violence. After his departure from the 
circuit, this man was converted, and he then 
kTcatlv deplored his treatment of our friend. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 97 

In London, I subsequently adverted to the 
man's behaviour, saying to Mr. Smith, that 
I understood he had thrust him out of the 
house. . * No,' said he, * he did not do that ; 
but I saw that he was uijder the power of 
strong feelings, and I apprehended that he was 
about to lay hands upon me. I therefore left 
the house, not afraid of him, but afraid of 
myself, not knowing to what I might have been 
tempted had he touched me.' " 

Nor did his low opinion of himself refer 
merely to those moral accomplishments which 
were the most remote from his natural charac- 
ter. It extended itself to the quaUties in 
which, by the united influence of nature and 
grace, he seemed most ftdly to excel. How 
severe, for example, is the following piece of 
self-accusation! ^^ Dec. 11. I have not had 
that lively sense of the presence and favour of 
God, the whole of this day, which I wish to 
enjoy. I am deeply sensible of my ignorance, 
and of my want of abiUty for the work of the 
ministry; yet the Lord is all-sufficient, and 
he vnll qualify and help. I trust I shall be 
more diUgent than I have been. / have to 
lament my instability in every thing, I have 
not prayed against it as I ought to have done. 
By the grace of God I will make a renewed 
effort." 

Under the same date as the foregoing, be 

F 



98 MEMOIRS OF THE 

writes thus to Miss Hamer : — '' I am glad that 
the good Spirit of God continues to strive with 
you; but I would just say, do not let HiTn 
strive : yield to Him ; be led by Him at all 
times. Be as mjich in private as possible. 
Come to the throne of grace with boldness* 
God's having given his Son, is an irifimte 
and everlasting proof of his willingness to save 
us to the uttermost. Oh get transforming 
views of Christ ; these you must get in private. 
Do not rest without the constant enjojrment of 
the perfect love of God. Get deeper baptisms, 
signal revelations of the love of God in your 
heart. Experience the word : feel that you 
have the same Spirit that inspired the sacred 

penmen Of late I have had severe and 

peculiar temptations, and, blessed be Gx>d9 1 
have had strong and peculiar consolation and 
support." In reference to the work of God, he 
adds, "Our prospects in the circuit are very 
cheering. Congregations increase; the people 
in many places, are greatly quickened, and 
some are brought out of darkness into God's 
marvellous light. Last Tuesday night, in one 
of our coimtry places, there were many in dis- 
tress, and several professed to be made happy. 
On Wednesday night also there were some in 
distress. Oh if we were always filled with the 
Holy Ghost before we go to the house of 6t)d, 
we should see signs and wonders." 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 99 

Mr. Smith's letters to his parents usually 
contain a few words specifically addressed to 
his mother; and as she was often much af- 
flicted, they commonly suggest some topics of 
consolation. The following is a specimen: — 
^^ Dec, 22. Your bodily indisposition has a 
tendency to weigh down your spirits, but cast 
body and soul on Christ. However you may 
feel, trust in Christ. Cast your burden on the 
Lord, and he will sustain you. Like as a 
&ther pitieA his children, so the Lord pitieth 
them that fear him. The father attends to the 
afflicted child, because it is afflicted; and we 
have not an High Priest who is not touched 
with the feeling of our infirmities," &c. No- 
thing could be more sober and scriptural, 
nothing farther removed from the visionary 
and enthusiastic, than Mr. Smith's sentiments 
on the subject of Christian consolation. One 
of his friends relates, that " to a person suffer- 
ing from debility, he said, * You must not make 
joy the criterion of your state, but confidence 
in the truth of God. It would be a miracle 
for you to rejoice.' And again, to the same 
person, * Now do not be giving way to despond- 
ency because you are weak : I used to do it, 
but I know better now; I use my privilege 
and rejoice.'" — Meaning of course, by the term 
** rejoice," in this latter case, not to describe the 
abounding of active delight, but the calm satis- 

F 2 



100 MEMOIRS OF THE 

faction arising from an unshaken sense of God's 
fidelity. 

In the letter from which the above is ex- 
tracted, he elsewhere remarks, "Let us plead 
\rith God for deeper baptisms. We want 
more of the Spirit : this should be our grand 
petition — the Spirit. — It will purify, trans- 
form, strengthen, comfort: yea, all is in the 
Spirit. Give God no rest. How soon can 
He come down and shake the moimtains and 
dash the rocks to pieces. We may be assured 
if we are not saved, the hinderance is in us. 
Let us take hold of our fellow creatures, con- 
sider ourselves one with them, and plead with 
God for them. Blessed be God, He is begin- 
ning to work among us in different parts." 

The preceding extract displays one of those 
grand principles, to which Mr. Smith was so 
much indebted for hii^ usefulness, — sympathy; 
the taking hold of our fellow creatures, and 
making ourselves one with them. To this, in- 
deed, the most obvious forms of love to souls* 
and exertion for their welfare, are distinctly 
referrible. No man feels the value of the soul 
of another, who has not been made sensible of 
the worth of his own souL No man discerns 
the malignity of sin in the world, who has not 
felt its bitterness and terror in his own heart. 
No man is awake to the peril of the ungodly, 
who has not trembled under the sense of per- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 101 

sonal danger. No man forms a correct estimate 
of the value of the atonement, who has not 
had the hlood of Christ sprinkled on his own 
conscience. In proportion as religion becomes 
a matter of deep personal interest, will be the 
concern which a man feels for the salvation of 
others. God might have employed — ^had it con- 
sisted with his wisdom — a race of intelligences 
superior to men, as the heralds of his truth ; and 
had luminous perceptions of his character, and 
sensitive jealousy for his glory, been the sole 
qualifications required for a minister of Christ, 
there is no question, but that they would have 
been inconceivably better fitted for this ofiice 
than any human beings. But they could have 
possessed no sympathy with those whom they 
addressed, and herein would have lacked an 
essential element of the ministerial character. 
God has therefore appointed sinners to be in- 
structed and awakened, by the instrumentality 
of those who have themselves been in the 
darkness and sleep of sin. Men are to be 
exhorted to repentance by those who have them- 
selves repented. Christ is to be proclaimed as a 
Saviour ; the duty of proclaiming him, therefore, 
rests on those who experience his salvation ; 
and heaven is to be ofiered to the spirits of the 
faithful, by those who personally enjoy the lively 
hope of possessing it. 

With these arrangements, so fitting in them- 



lOS MEMOIRS OF THE 

selves, the whole of Chiistiaiiity is in the most 
perfect harmony. Christ, as our great High 
W«, , a. ,«,l^ perfect, by b4 inveid 
with our nature and our sympathies, and having 
that nature tried, and those sympathies fed, 
by undergoing the same temptations to which 
we are subjected. He was incarnated, not 
merely that he might make an atonement for 
sin, but that his human nature might be filled 
with horror on its account, and might enter into 
a full perception of the infinite peril of sinners. 
These impressions he received with such weight 
in the garden and on the cross, that his soul 
was exceedingly oppressed with amazement and 
agony. And now being for ever glorified at the 
right hand of the Father, the memory of these 
causes him to long for the salvation of an apos- 
tate world with infinite passion, till "of the 
travail of his soul he shall see the firuit,"* and 
his boundless desire shall " be satisfied." " The 
great principle of vicarious sufiering, which 
forms the centre of Christianity, spreads itself 
through the subordinate parts of the system, 
and is the pervading, if not the invariable law of 
Christian beneficence. He who, with a due 
sense of the greatness of the enterprise, devotes 
himself to the removal of the moral wretched- 
ness in which human nature is involved, will 
find the sad quality of these deeper woes is in a 
* Lowth's translation of Isa. liii. 1 1 . 



REY. JOHN SMITH. 103 

manner reflected back upon himself; and that 
to touch the substantial miseries of degenerate 
man is to come within the infection of infinite 
sorrow. And this is the law of success in the 
Christian ministry, that highest work of philan- 
thropy. Every right-minded and heaven-com- 
missioned minister of religion is ^ baptized with 
the baptism wherewith his Lord was baptized ; ' 
and he knows that by the great law of the spi- 
ritual world, the suffering of substitutes enters 
into every procedure of redemption."* 

Some eminent ministers have been possessed 
by so great a jealousy for the honour of God, 
and by so determined a resentment against sin, 
that their minds have been shaded by stern- 
ness, rather than softened by compassion. But 
there was a native softness and susceptibi- 
lity about Mr. Smith's affections which, when 
sanctified by the power of grace, would have 
pecuUarly disposed him, had he been merely 
an ordinary Christian, to have wept with those 
who weep. And while on the one hand, as 
will be hereafter shown, he never forgot the 
claims of the divine purity, and thus invested 
with an extraordinary power his denunciations 
of sin, he preserved the full flowing tide of 
himian feeling, and the condition of sinnei's 
inspired his heart with an unutterable pity. 
He entered so fiilly into their misery and peril, 
* Natural History of Enthusiasm. 



104< MEMOIRS OF THE 

and had so poignant and distressing a sense of 
the malignity and heinousness of their vio-^ 
lations of the law, as to be often indescribably 
oppressed. In illustration of this part of his 
character, Mr. Clarkson says, that he held the 
opinion " that sin mii^t be repented of by some 
one, and that if sinners would not themselves 
repent, the people of God must repent in their 
behalf. It was therefore a settled principle 
with him to ^confess the sins of the people.* 
And I remember," adds Mr. C, "to have heard 
him remark, that ' unless a preacher carries 
about with him a daily burden, he is not likely 
to see many sinners converted to God.' *' That 
he himself carried about this burden, Mr. Cal- 
der's testimony will be sufficient to evince. 
This gentleman remarks, "I have often seen 
him come down stairs in the morning, after 
spending several hours in prayer, with his 
eyes swollen with weeping. He would soon 
introduce the subject of his anxiety by saying, 
* I am a broken-hearted man ; yes, indeed, I am 
an unhappy man; not for myself, but on account 
of others. God has given me such a sight of 
the value of precious souls, that I cannot live 
if souls axe not saved. Oh give me souls, or 
else I die!"' 

And as the sympathy which he felt for 
sinners was unusually strong, so was it also 
peculiarly practical. This was strikingly mani- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 1Q5 

fested in the case of penitents. '* When you 
are with people in distress on account of their 
sins," he sometimes said to the compiler of 
these memoirs, "you must not only pray for 
them, but you must throw yourself into their 
circumstances : you must be a penitent too ; 
they must pray through you, and what you say 
must be exactly what they would say if they 
knew how."* He carried out the same prin- 
ciple into the matter of faith. " It is possible," 
said he, more than once, " to believe for a 
penitent;" and in confirmation of this opinion, 
he has related instances in which, when he 
has been labouring to exert this faith of S3nn- 
pathy, actual faith has arisen correspondingly 
m the mind of the sinner, and the power of 
God, and the joy of salvation, have burst upon 
both, as they simultaneously appropriated the 
atonement of Christ. 

To his parents, Mr. Smith writes, " /aw. 
25th, 1819. I was very glad to hear that my 
dear mother gets more bodily strength, and 
with it an increase of the power of faith, 
power to trust in God. They that trust in 
Him shall never be confounded. I was very 
glad to hear that my dear and respected father 
has got a greater victory over his spiritual 

• In the life of Mr. H. Longden of Sheffield, p. 44, there 
is a case mentioned which heautifully illustrates this method 
of treating a penitent 

F 5 



108 



tress, and one of ibe local preach«8 was 
to beliere for ^itire sanctificauoD.'' 
At the district meedn^ held in 
the moDtfa of Mat, Mr. Smith was app 
to usBt in conducting a watch nigl 
Road cfaapeL Ilie whole of the pre 
aftenioan he spent in earnest entreaty f 
divine blessing upon the meeting. Hei| 
great enlargement in delivering an e 
on the occasion; and while he was afteil 
engaged in prayer, the influence of the I 
Spirit descended in an unusual manner, 
efibct was extraordinarv. Some cried I 
under a consciousness of their sin and ] 
some were uiinble to repress exclamatioi 
praise to God; while others were : 
whelmed, as to be obliged to retire from i 
L-hapel. ^\jnong these last, was a baker 1 
!iad been accustomed to follow his business { 
the Sabbath day. His alarm was so powi 
that he was bowed down towards the 
and it was with great difficulty that he stj 
.■eeiled in reaching his own house. When ! 
retired to bed, sleep had forsaken him. E 
aiYwe in inexpressible agony, and casting himsi 
oil his knees, wrestled with God for about t» 
hours, when the Lord pardoned his sins, ai 
filled his heart with joy and his mouth wii 
tliaiiksginiig. His. wife also soon experienci 
the liame blessing ; the munediate result 1 



RtV. JOHN SMITH. 

fi lital th<y sltogotlirr rRliii(|uiili 
» * Sablnth cUy, onti MoritlcMt I 
,r, whii-h ttiiuiunU^d tu one fontit 
I had an inipniew with I 
" ftlwut two yeaia after 
c thai the l/nrd hud » 
n their business, that tliey had Ifwn 

. at thi» time a straof^r in 
t, and the day ahvr the occurrence of 
uiuble scene, lie tiecome th«- subjocl 
' generaJ conversation aniong ihuac 
I been present. His cliarocter was 
f freely canvasaed, and ibf opiniom 
^ him vrcre veiy various. I'jVcd araotip 
pWthren assembled at the district inectitifr, 
i was this diversity of sentiment. Thin 
I wiiat Mr. S. every where expected ; «iid 
1 it never deterred him from wliat lie 
adered his duty, it wan often a sore trial to 
t his labours were nut appreciated by 
of those, whom of all men he most 
iired and loved. In this feeling there v&n 
selfish, except indeed so far as he 
ifenlified himself with the work of God. He 
f Was personally independanl of the opinionif i»f 
men, of how great influence soever they might 
be ; but where hearty co-operation was withlield 
, by any who had the Aility to assisrhis plans, he 
felt that injustice was done to the cause of 



108 MEMOIRS OF THe 

tress, and one of the local preachers was enabled 
to believe for entire sanctification." 

At the district meeting held in London in 
the month of May, Mr. Smith was appointed 
to assist m conducting a watch night at City 
Road chapel. The whole of the preceding 
afternoon he spent in earnest entreaty for the 
divine blessing upon the meeting. He had 
great enlargement in delivering an exhortation 
on the occasion; and while he was afterwards 
engaged in prayer, the influence of the Holy 
Spirit descended in an unusual manner. The 
eflect was extraordinary. Some cried aloud 
imder a consciousness of their sin and peril: 
some were imable to repress exclamations of 
praise to God; while others were so over- 
whelmed, as to be obliged to retire from the 
chapel. Among these last, was a baker who 
had been accustonied to follow his business on 
the Sabbath day. His alarm was so powerful 
that he was bowed down towards the earth, 
and it was with great difficulty that he sue-* 
ceeded in reaching his own house. When he 
retired to bed, sleep had forsaken him. He 
arose in inexpressible agony, and casting himself 
on his knees, wrestled with God for about two 
hours, when the Lord pardoned his sins, and 
filled his heart with joy and his mouth vnih 
thanksgiving. His. wife also soon experienced 
the same blessing; the inunediate result of 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 109 

which was, that they altogether relinquished 
baking on a Sabbath day, and sacrificed the 
gains of iniquity, which amounted to one guinea 
per week. " I had an interview with them," 
says Mr. Clarkson, " about two years afterwards, 
and they assured me that the Lord had so pros- 
pered them in their business, that they had been 
gainers ever since." 

Mr. Smith was at this time a stranger in 
London, and the day after the occurrence of 
this remarkable scene, he became the subject 
of pretty general conversation among those 
who had been present. His character was 
of course fi'eely canvassed, and the opinions 
respecting him were very various. Even among 
his brethren assembled at the district meeting, 
there was this diversity of sentiment. This 
was what Mr. S. every where expected ; and 
though it never deterred him from what he 
considered his duty, it was often a sore trial to 
him, that his labours were not appreciated by 
some of those, whom of - all men he most 
honpured and loved. In this feeling there was 
nothing selfish, except indeed so far as he 
identified himself vrith the work of God. He 
was personally independant of the opinions of 
men, of how great influence soever they might 
be ; but where hearty co-operation was withheld 
by any who had the a*bility to assistrhis plans, he 
felt that injustice was done to the cause of 



110 MEMOIRS OF THE 

Christy and hence his regrets. It is proper 
however to remark, that it was a very rare case 
for him to be known, without being in the 
highest degree esteemed, both personally and 
ministerially. It is only therefore to cases of 
casual intercourse, such as the foregoing, that 
these remarks apply. 

In the course of the district meeting, some 
conversation took place on the decrease in the 
number of our members during the preceding 
year, and several measures were suggested to 
prevent the recurrence of so melancholy a 
circumstance. Among those who spoke on the 
subject, was a preacher of the highest character 
and influence, who had known Mr. S. before he 
entered on the itinerant work, and who highly 
estimated his devotedness and ardour. After 
having alluded to several other particulars, he 
added with much emphasis, " If we all possessed 
the burning zeal of the brother who addressed 
us last night, we should not have to lament any 
diminution of our societies." This remark, from 
such a quarter, had a happy eflfect upon the 
minds of those who had previously been unac- 
quainted with the worth of the person to whom 
it referred. To Mr. S. himself it was highly 
gratifying; it was so full a recognition of the 
value of the spirit which he took such pains to 
cherish, that he subsequently recollected it 
with much thankfulness ; and '' I have reason 



]l£V. JOHN SMITH. 1 1 1 

to believe," says Mr. Calder, *' that he often 
afterwards remembered Mr. B., where, it is of 
most importance that we should not forget 
our friends." Many other instances might be 
cited, in which Mr. Smith's singular excel- 
lence was acknowledged, by men to whose 
opinions the highest deference is due. The 
venerable Walter Griffith, for example, under 
whose auspices Mr. S. commenced his labours 
as a local preacher, met with him some years 
afterwards, and with profound delight wept 
over him, as he said, " You, my dear brother, 
have from the beginning preserved your sim- 
plicity;" — adding much more in the way of 
approbation and encouragement. But his 
character demands not the applause of men, 
as it cannot be affected by their censure. 
Some may have been induced, by the testi- 
mony of those whom they respected, to offer 
him a measure of their approbation; but his 
dearest lovers are such as knew him most 
famiUarly ; many of whom are men too fully of 
his own stamp to be materially influenced, ex- 
cept by the distinct personal perception of 
worth and virtue. 

The following is an extract from a letter to 
his parents, dated June 1 1, 1819 : — ^* My health 
is better considerably than when I came to 
Brighton. The rides, air, &c. agree * with me 
very well. I may yet be strong to labour. 



lis ' MEMOIRS OF THE 

All thing's are at God's disposal. His will is 
heaven to me....jrhe Lord is carrying on his 
work in my soul. I have — I expect to have— r 
conflicts with the powers of darkness, but the 
Lord is my helper and defence. ' The name 
of the Lord is a strong tower ; the righteous 
runneth into it and is safe.' God is every 
where : faith realizes his presence, — the pres-* 
ence of a Father ; and vriU not a father protect 
and defend his child ? will he not provide for 
him, and give him tokens of his affection ? I 
want more of the simplicity of faith, and I am 

aiming at it We frequently attempt great 

things without capacity to do them. What 
should we say to a person,, who wished to 
plough, sow, buy, sell, and to transact a great 
deal of business, when at the same time he was 
so imwell that he could scarcely walk across 
the house ? We should say, You really cannot 
do what you vrish ; you must go to the doctor ; 
you must have something to remove your 
weakness. The depravity of the heart renders 
us incapable of doing God's wiU : it is a dis- 
ease ; it is debility; it pervades the system. 
But there is 'balm in Gilead,' there is a 
' Physician there.' Thanks be to God ! ' The 
Lord thy God vdll circumcise thine heart, and 
the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy 
God wdth all thine heart, and with all thy 
soul.' * I vriU sprinkle clean water upon you, 



EEV. JOHN SMITH. 113 

and ye shall be clean ; from all your filthiness, 
and from all your idols, will I cleanse you/ 
If He speak health and soundness into the 
soul, we shall be capacitated to do his will. 
We shall do well to wait at his feet till He 
speaks. I am looking for a deeper baptism of 
the Holy Ghost. I am greatly encouraged by 
what God has already done for me, and by 
his numerous exceeding great and precious 
promises secured to them that believe. It is 
well to dare to take God at his word, to 
venture on the promises as well as we can, 
notwithstanding all opposition and difficulty, 
until it is easy to lay hold of the blessing, to 
claim it as ours in all its fulness and glory. 
We cannot believe too much ; we cannot be- 
lieve too soon. A man who is in perfect health 
naturaUy desires to be in action ; he does well 
to be in action. When God has written his 
law in the heart, his commandments are not 
grievous. The sum is this ; the first business 
of a diseased man is to get cured Our pros- 
pects in this circuit continue cheering. I have 
seen the grace of God displayed in the con- 
version of sinners since I wrote to you." 

Mr. Smith excelled in pastoral qualifications 
and duties, and was often distinguishedly use- 
ful in private society. " Kindness," says Mr. 
Calder, " was peculiarly prominent in his moral 
constitution, and gave to his piety the most 



114 MEMOIRS OF THE 

interesting forms of sweetness and benignity* 
And this induced an individual^ who was no 
mean judge of religious character, to observe 
of him, that he had the piety of a certain dis- 
tinguished saint and minister, [who has already 
been alluded to in these pages,] with more of 
the milk of human kindness. Hence the ab- 
sence of all austerity from his manners. Of 
this, children seemed to be conscious, and 
soon attached themselves to him with peculiar 
fondness, which he amply returned. In this 
respect, he resembled the founder of method- 
ism, and I may add, the Founder of our holy 
religion also. Not satisfied with merely dcing 
the work of the pulpit, he deemed it right to 
acquaint himself with, and firequently to visit 
every family connected with the society. An 
imconverted individual in such a family became 
the subject of his peculiar soUcitude, and he 
was placed upon his Ust to be specifically re- 
membered before God, vnth many tears and 
persevering intercessions. This ceaseless con- 
cern for the children and servants of our people, 
was attended with glorious results. My house 
was firequently the scene of holy triumph ; for 
if a visit was paid to me by any of the children 
of our fiiends, residing in other parts of the 
kingdom, they became the objects of his pecn- 
Uar regard. By his kind and affectionate 
behaviour he first ingratiated himself into their 



HSV. JOHN SMITH. 1 15 

fftvour, and then, watching the effect of his 
admonitions, he was restless till they obtained 
the mercy of God, Never shall I forget the 
case of one of the sons of tlie late Mr. B. of 
London, upon whom, whUe paying a visit to 
my house at Brighton, Mr. S. commenced a 
serious attack on the subject of his salvation. 
This was followed up from day to day, till the 
young man became duly impressed with the 
importance of religion ; and not long after, our 
departed friend called me into his study, to 
join with them in praising God for having 
bestowed upon this person a sense of pardon. 
He shortly after returned to his family, a truly 
converted character," and subsequently became 
a zealous local preacher. " The daughter of 
one of our London friends," Mr. C. adds, " was 
brought to God in a similar manner." 

Another incident which occurred about this 
time, will serve to exemplify the same subject. 
Having to go to a distant part of the Brighton 
circuit, Mr. S. stayed to dine at an interme- 
diate village. After dinner, an interesting 
and intelligent servant girl, of about fourteen 
years of age, who was engaged in the room in 
which he sat, arrested his attention. " Come 
hither, my dear," said he in his usually serious 
and impressive manner ; "I wish to speak to 
you." She immediately came, and looking 
very earnestly in his face, awaited, with an 



116 MEMOIRS OF THE 

appearance of great interest^ what he had to 
say. " Do you know that you are a sinner ?** 
he asked. Heaving a deep sigh^ she repliedi 
" Yes, sir." — " Do you know that you will be 
lost unless your sins are pardoned ? "-:—"Ye8| 
sir."—" Are you unhappy ? "— " Yes, sir." — '^ Do 
you ever pray? " — " Yes." — " Do you say your 
prayers, or do you ask God for what you fed 
you want ? " — " I say my prayers." — " But yoo 
could ask me for any thing you wanted, could 
you not ? " — " Yes, sir." — " Suppose you were 
a very poor girl, and went to Mrs. S. to b^i 
you could tell her of your distress, and ask her 
to give you something?" In a voice ftill of 
emotion, she replied, " Yes, sir." — " Well, ytrn 
are a poor distressed siuner: God pities you: 
you can ask him to forgive you. Shall I pray 
for you ? What shall I pray for ? "• The poor child 
could not reply for weeping. They then kneeled 
down, and in a very few minutes she began to 
cry aloud for mercy, and to confess and bewail 
her sins in a remarkably fluent and affecting 
manner. She continued to cry, till God re- 
vealed his Son in her heart. The change in her 
countenance and accents was astonishing. She 
praised God in a loud and joyful voice : and with 
a faith that greatly surprised Mr. S., who stood 
at her side, interceded for her relations, for all 
sinners, and for the world at large. Her grati- 
tude taught her new and eloquent language: 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 117 

with extraordinary emphasis, she said, over and 
over again, '^ Jesus has died for me ! Jesus has 
died for me ! Blessed Jesus ! Blessed Jesus ! 
my God! — my Father! God pities me; God 
loves me, and I love my God ! Oh, when shall 
I be with thee in glory, to praise thy name for 
ever and ever ? " &c. She continued on her 
knees for more than an hour, and her state of 
rapture was so extreme, that, as Mr. S. after- 
wards said, it seemed as if it had been impossible 
for her to have survived so overpowering a 
revelation of the divine love. 

In the month of July, Mr. Smith visited 
Chichester, to assist in the opening of a new 
chapel, and remained there for several days. 
His labours in that city were honoured by 
God. He preached one evening from 1 Peter 
iii. 13,—^" Who is he that will harm you, if ye 
be followers of that which is good?" and had 
great liberty of speech. During the concluding 
prayer, the influence of God descended on the 
congregation in a remarkable manner, and 
several groaned audibly under the burden of 
their sins. Mr. S. cried out, "Now let your 
hearts yield!" and began to pray again. He 
then came down from the pulpit, and Mr. 
Hiley, the resident preacher, continued to 
plead with God on behalf of the distressed. 
Mr. S., in his usual way, immediately addressed 
those individuals who were seeking salvation. 



118 MEMOIRS OF THE 

and exhorted them to trust in Christ for a 
present deliverance. Arrangements had been 
made for letting the seats in the chapel^ but 
all other business was forgotten in the urgency 
of the cries of penitent sinners, and the meet- 
ing was protracted to a late hour. Nine per- 
sons were ascertained that evening to have 
been brought into the enjoyment of the par- 
doning love of God, and many others still re- 
mained under deep and painful concern for their 
souls. 

Mr. Smith thus writes to his parents, Aug. 
5, 1819, — " My soul is kept in peace : fre- 
quently I am filled with holy triumph, and I 
rejoice in hope of the glory of God. *Thc 
lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; I 
have a goodly heritage.' ' Bless the Lord, 
my soul, and forget not all his benefits.' It is 
reasonable that / should devote myself to the 
semce of God. Thank God, I have this 
power : I do present myself to Him * a living 
sacrifice,' and through Christ he accepts of 
me. I am engaged in a work in which my 
soul delights, the preaching of the glorious 
Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is an awfully im- 
portant work, but those whom Jesus Christ 
appoints to it, he engages to help and support 
in it : I will trust in Him." 






REV. JOHN SMITH. 1 19 



VIII. 

BRIGHTON CONTINUED. 1819—1820. 

At the conference of 1819, Mr. Smith was 
re-appomted, with his friend Mr. Calder, to 
the Brighton circuit. His feelings, in refer- 
ence to the past, and his hopes for the coming 
year, are stated in a letter to Miss Hamer, 
dated August 14, — " During the year that is 
past," he says, " I see much cause for shame 
and confusion of face ; hut oh, it has been a 
year of mercy! What long-suffering! What 
signal outpourings of the Spirit, both in pub- 
lic and private! What displays of the grace 
and power of God among the people ! I cast 
my unworthy soul on the mercy of God, 
through the mediation of his Son Jesus Christ. 
I trust in Him for ' pardon, and hoUness, and 
heaven.' I wish that all I have and am may 
be a sacrifice acceptable to God through 
Jesus Christ. I trust we shall see glorious, 
days : it stands in the power of God. * Ask, 
and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.' 
I am thankful to God that a few, during the 
past year, have got cleansed from all sin. I 



ISO MEMOIRS OF THB 

trust that God will raise up many more wit- 
nesses, in this circuit, of his power to save to 

the uttermost On Monday night, a woman got 

into liberty at the prayer meeting. Last night 
also, a poor lad, that goes with a crutch, was 
weeping in th'e chapel yard, after the prayer 
meeting, on account of his sins. A few of us 
went with him into the chapel again, and God 
removed his burden and caused him to sing for 
joy. These are encouraging displays of God's 
mercy. I hope we shall expect greater things. 
We may have, yea, we shall have, if we ask." 

The following expression of fOial feeling is 
very interesting. Gratitude to parents or other 
earthly benefactors is in itself so pleasing, that 
the generaHty of mankind dwell upon it as 
something intrinsically complete and satisfac- 
tory. Mr. Smith, as will be here remarked, 
employs it to a higher ultimate object, and 
this application of the natural charities of 
man's heart to the production of a stronger 
faith in God is delightfully characteristic. It 
displays a mind searching diligently the ordi- 
nary trains of human feeling for the most holy 
purposes, and stretching beyond the creature, 
however fair and venerable, to the Fountain 
of all purity, perfection, and love, " Oct. 1, 
1819. Your kindness towards me" — thus he 
writes to his parents — " aids me much in my 
approaches to God. It is said, ' If ye then. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 121 

'being evil, know how to give good gifts to 
your children, how much more shall your 
heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them 
that ask him!' I think, what is it that my 
parents would not do for me? What is it 
that they have not done for me? They have 
provided for me, wept over me, prayed for me, 
dealt tenderly with me, forgiven me, and imder 
God, have been my spiritual parents too. 
They cared for my soul as well as my body; 
God regarded them, and crowned their efforts 
with success : their kindness has been a 
flowing stream.— Well, God is my heavenly 
Father ; He cares for me : there is no evil in 
Him. He is full of pity and compassion ; He 
has given his Son : He is willing freely to 
give all things. I may come to him with con- 
fidence, I do come with confidence, with the con- 
fidence of a little child, and he blesses me ; He 
gives me his Holy Spirit. Of late, I have had 
such revelations of the love of God in my soul, 
such baptisms of the Holy Ghost, as I never 
had before, and such as I had no conception of. 
God is not only able, but willing * to do exceed- 
ing abundantly above all that we ask or think.' 
* Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.' We 
want more faith; power implicitly to rely on 
what God has said, — to take God at his word. 

' Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, 
And looks to ihai-alone** 



122 MEMOIRS OF THE 

I see more clearly than ever, that God hkntelf 

18 the portion of his people. All the promises 

lead into God. Faith looks at them as living 

springs, always sending forth something fresh. 

There is an infinite depth in the prc^nises. 

Let us daily through the promises, by £sdth» 

draw more of God into our hearts. ^ If any man 

thirst, let him come unto me and drink/ ^ The 

water that I shall give him shall be in him a well 

of water, springing up into everlasting life.' I 

am happy, increasingly happy in God- God ]& 

my portion. 'Bless the Lord, O my souL' 

* Christ ts in me, the hope of glory.' I have 

the earnest of heaven in my heart. This is my 

treasure. I esteem every thing else as nothing 

in comparison of this. I long that every child 

of man should participate the same blessedness. 

' What shall I do to make it known^ 
What thou ion all mankind hast done V 

Thanks be to God, He is blessing us in some 
parts of our circuit. Some are rejoicing in 
perfect love : others are gasping for it ; and 
although, in some places, we are low, God can, 
and I trust will, raise us. We must pray* 
' Ask, and ye shall receive 1 ' Bless God for 
such words as these. How are you coming 
on in your class? what number in society? 
what prospects in Cudworth? Are the back- 
sliders quite dead ? ' Come, O breath, from the 
four winds, and breathe upon these slain.' " 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 123 

Our next quotation from the same corre- 
spondence is beautifully illustrative of Christian 
• perfection ; — ^beginning and ending in humility, 
and including delight in Christ, — devotedness 
to God, — -joy in the Holy Ghost, — ^heavenly- 
mindedness, — confident desire, — trust in the 
atonement, and victory over temptation. The 
writer appears to labour for expression, and to 
feel the inadequacy of all human language. It is 
no matter of surprise, that with the enjoyments 
to which he alludes, he should long to see others 
in an equally elevated state of salvation. — 
** November 29. Thanks be to God for his 
continued and increasing goodness to me, the 
unworthiest and most un&ithful of 'his servants. 
What shall I say about my sold ? O my dear 
parents, Jesus was never so precious to me as 
at present. He is the fairest among ten thou- 
sand, and the altogether lovely. My soid is 
penetrated with his excellencies. All I want is 
in Him, and He is mine. I have power to give 
him my whole heart, and I have the witness that 
he ^es it. His Spirit dwells in me, and reveals 
to me the beauties of my Saviour. I 'rejoice 
with joy unspeakable and frdl of glory.' My 
' conversation is in heaven : ' my treasure and 
my heart are there. God fiUs my soul. I 
know that He has taken away the body of sin. 
In obedience to Him, I reckon myself * dead 
indeed ui^to sin, but alive to God through 

g2 



124 MEMOIRS OF THE 

Jesus Christ.' God is my portion. His ful- 
ness is mine. Yet He is * able to do exceed- 
ing abundantly above all I ask or think.' I 
am looking for £resh discoveries of his glory. 
My soul thirsts for God. I never needed the 
blood of Christ more than I do at present 
But I have it, and I never made so much use 
of it as I do now. I have been mightily as- 
sailed by the powers of darkness, but Jesus is 
my Protector. Protected by omnipotent love, 
what can harm me ? * Thou wilt keep him in 
perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.' 
I wish to live in the act of casting my helpless 
soul upon Christ. I am thankM for your 
prayers, and for the prayers of God's people. 
I have the prayers of some who have power 
with God. I am filled with shame when I turn 
my eyes backward, 

< But lo, from sin and grief and shame, 
I hide me, Jesus, in thy name.' 

" God is working among us. Many of the 
people are rising. Several are panting for 
entire sanctification. Their expectation shall 
not be cut off: God will speak for himself. 
He will raise up in this antinomian country, I 
trust, many witnesses of his power to save 
from all sin, and to keep in that state. My 
spirit is filled with grief at the prevalence of 
iniquity around us. I find relief in Christ 
^He is the propitiation for our sins, and not 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 125 

for ours only, but for the sins of the whole 
world.' O my dear parents, be solicitous to 
have all the salvation of the Gospel : labour, 
pant, struggle, believe, and * be filled with all 
the fulness of God.' Give my kind love to 
your class, and tell them firom me, that Jesus 
is waiting to do all they desire for the salva- 
tion of their souls. Honour him, by trusting 
in him." 

The beginning of die year 1820 was marked 
by a considerable increase of religious feeling 
in the Brighton circuit, and Mr. S. had the 
high satisfaction of seeing the grace of God 
displayed in several instances of clear and 
striking conversion. The following is an ex- 
ample: — Calling one day on Mrs. M., a pious 
lady of Lewes, he there met with her niece, 
who was imder concern for her soul. He en- 
gaged in prayer with peculiar sweetness, and 
he was afterwards led to speak of the excel- 
lencies of the Saviour, and the happiness of 
those who are united to hun. His word was 
accompanied by special unction, and Miss 

, the young person before alluded to, was 

so powerfiilly affected, that she rose from her 
seat, and casting herself on her knees, began 
to plead with God in earnest prayer, for the 
blessing of a present salvation. In ' a short 
time, hope sprang up in her heart. She ex- 
claimed, "I will beUeve," and instantly the 



126 MEMOIRS OF THE 

Comforter came. She rose and cried, " The 
Lord has washed away my sins for the sake of 
the blood of Christ/' and in an ecstacy of 
gratitude and triumph, she flung herself on the 
neck of her rejoicing relative, exclaiming, " It 
is you that have brought me to this!" with 
similar expressions of joyful feeling. They 
then united in the praise of a pardoning Grod. 
If my information be correct, two other persons 
in the same &mily were, a few days afterwards, 
through Mr. Smith's instrumentality, made par- 
takers of the blessings of saving grace. 

In a letter to Miss Hamer, dated Feb. 5, 
1820, Mr. S. thus speaks of his own experi- 
ence. "My sold is kept in peace and purity. 
Glory be to God ! What charms there are in 
Jesus ! * Unto you that believe he is precious.' 
I believe; and God testifies that He approves 
of my faith, by continually sending * the Spirit 
of his Son into my heart, crying Abba Father.' 
I am grafted in the true vine: life flows into 
my soul, and shows itself in buds and fruit; — 
love, joy, peace, &c. I wish to be ' filled with 
the fruits of righteousness, which are by 
Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.' 
I 'hunger and thirst after righteousness.' 
Blessed are such. My soul longeth after God. 
He is all my desire. lam yet but foolish in 
using the means, especially prayer. I want 
more of Bramwell's spirit, more of Longden's 



REV. lOHN SMITH. 127 

spirit, more of Nelson's spirit. It is to be 
had. I believe I shall have it.. ...Lately God 
has signally blessed me in visiting the sick. 
* It is better to go to the house of mourn- 
ing than the house of feasting.' My soul has 
been filled and expanded. The excellencies 
of Jesus have been more fiilly revealed. It is 
good frequently to visit the abodes of the 
afflicted, especially when Jesus gives us sym- 
pathy for the afflicted. I long for more sym- 
pathy. I must go to Jesus for it As man, 
he was full of it: as God-man, he is the 
fountain of it. Jesus, come and live in me, that 
I may, like thee, go about doing good ! " 

With his accustomed affection, Mr. S. thus 
writes to his parents in the following month. 
" Eastbourne, March 27. Last Friday evening, 
we had a love-feast at Brighton. I, with many 
others, bore a public testimony to the power of 
religion. Of course, I coidd not but mention 
with gratitude to God, the influence which the 
example, instructions, entreaties, &c. of my 
parents had had upon my mind. A few, to the 
praise of God's grace, testified that the blood of 
Christ cleansed them from all sin. I hope that 
many more will be speedily brought into this 
glorious liberty, although, in this part, those who 
profess it are opposed, and considered to be in a 
dangerous error. Thank God, there are some, 
in various parts of the circuit, who axe clearly 



128 MEMOIRS OF THE 

convinced of the necessity of a clean heart, and 
who are longing and seeking for the entire 
destruction of sin. The Lord is very &vourable 
to me. My health is as usual, and I am enabled 
to believe in Jesus Christ to the saving of my 
soul. Christ is increasingly precious. I want 
stability and firmness in the grace of God. 
God will "establish me. The word of God is 
precious : I feast upon it. I am persuaded the 
more implicitly we give credit to it, the more 
of God we shall enjoy and diffiise." 

To the same, he thus writes, May 19: — 
" God has possession of my heart. Christ not 
only visits me, but dwells in me by faith. 
Christ is all, and Christ is mine. His excel- 
lencies exert a continual attraction. The 
world is unmasked to me. I see it unsuitable 
for the portion of my soul. It is unsatisfying 
and perishing. But Christ possesses every 
thing that is suited to me. He is the eternal 
God. I choose him for my portion. Yet I 
want more divine power. This must result to 
me, from deeper and more glorious revelations 
of the excellencies of Christ in my soul, by 
the Holy Ghost. Oh that I may ever lie at 
the foot of the cross, and feel my need of, and 
have the merit of the death of Christ ! 

* Weaker than a bruised reed, 
Help I every moment need.' 

I am kept no longer than I am kept by the 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 129 

power of God through faith. But does he not 
say, 'Fear not: — I will never leave thee; I 
will never forsake thee?' Amen, my Lord: 
never leave, never forsake me ! " Of the work 
of God he remarks in the same letter, " The 
state of this country affects me. I wish to be 
strong to labour. I know that it is God the 
Holy Ghost that converts and saves souls. 
But God works by the instrumentality of men ; 
and in all ages of the Christian church, He 
has signally owned and blessed extraordinary 
exertions. I wish to aim constantly at precious 
souls, and *to look for present effects. I anti- 
cipate better days. God is at work. Several 
are entering more fiilly into God, and He, I 
• trust, is preparing them to be useful, but we 
want a union of effort : then something signal 
will be done." 

The following incident related by Mr. Calder, 
will serve to illustrate Mr. Smith's disregard to 
ordinary opinions and manners, in the prose- 
cution of what he considered his duty. A 
woman at Brighton, who was very ill, had 
been several times visited by him. Her hus- 
band was an imgodly fisherman, and had he 
dared, would personally have opposed the 
efforts of Mr. S. for the conversion of his wife. 
Being however unable to summon sufficient 
resolution to meet the pointed admonitions of 
his most unwelcome visitor, he sent for a 

G 5 



ISO 



JIRS OF THE 



woman notorious for profaneiiess and ti 
to guard the sick chamber. The i 
Mr, S. called, as he was about to go 
she sprang on luin, and seizing him 1 
collar of his coat, protested that he shm 
proceed any farther. All his entieatit 
expostulations were utterly useless, 
last said, " If I am not allowed to see. 1 
must kneel down here and pray for her," 
a tremendous oath, she swore that 1 
not. He then saw that it was vain tc 
the contest, and returned to Mr. Calder ii 
distress. After having related the v 
he wished to know whether, when he had 
put out of the house, he had not done 1 
in not immediately kneeluig down in the i 
before the door, and there interceding i 
sick woman, and whether it was not his i 
now to return and do so. " It 
utmost difficulty," says Mr. C, " that I o 
prevail on him to abandon the intention." 
The same friend has supplied also t 
lowing relation, which is equally characte 
" Mr. S. on one occasion was seated i 
directly opposite to a lady of family a 
tabihty, who though in theory acquainte 
the truths of the gospel, was destitute 
saving power. According to his custom, he 
embraced the opportunity of addressing her 
on the subject. She was greatly ofiended, 



REV. JOHN SMITH. , 131 

and expressed her resentment in a manner 
scarcely suitable either to her sex or her rank. 
When she was silent, Mr. S. with a look of 
inexpressible kindness repKed, * Madam, you 
may spit in my face if you please, but you 
cannot prevent me from loving your souV The 
lady was deeply affected. A few years after- 
wards, she was taken ill, was attended by the 
methodist preachers, and died a true penitent." 
At the conference of 18S0, Mr. Smith, after 
having undergone the usual examinations with 
credit to himself, and satisfaction to his breth- 
ren, was admitted into fiill connexion.* Im- 
mediately afterwards, he was married, and in 
a few days proceeded with Mrs. S. to the 
Windsor circuit. 



IX. 

WINDSOR. 1 820—1 821 ; 

Mr. Smith's new situation was in several 
respects peculiarly responsible and trying. 
Until this time, Windsor had formed a part of 
the Hammersmith Circuit. There were but 
three places besides the circuit town, in which 

* His public and fbnnal admission did not take place 
till the conference of 1822. 



132 MEMOIRS OF -THE 

societies had been formed, and in each the 
congregation and number of members were 
very small. Villages and towns presented 
themselves on every side, containing a large 
mass of popidation, very inadequately (if at 
all) supplied with opportunities for evangelical 
instruction. Perhaps there axe few districts in 
England, which, with so considerable a mea- 
sure of wealth, intelligence, and influence, 
present so many indications of spiritual desti- 
tution. In our own societies also, there was 
at this time great and manifest torpor. Many 
who had a name to live, were dead; and not 
a few who maintained a decent profession, had 
never known the regenerating influence of the 
Holy Spirit. 

To those who do not know the perversity of 
human nature, it might have been anticipated 
that in such a state of things, the labours of 
Mr. Smith would have been hailed with a uni- 
versal welcome. It should be particularly 
noted, that he was now no theorist, however 
he might have been esteemed such at an earlier 
period of his ministerial life. Many of those 
to whom he was now called to minister, must 
have been acquainted with his devoted zeal, 
and his considerable success; and all might, 
without difficulty, have ascertained how far 
his experiments had previously tended to the 
accomplishment of the great object of the 



REV. ^OHN SMITH. 133 

Christian ministry. Yet, to employ the testi- 
mony of one who was intimately acquainted 
with him at this period, — " his efforts by some 
individuals were, for a time, neither understood 
nor appreciated. This circumstance rendered 
the struggles of his faith far more painful to 
himself, while it delayed no less the general 
blessing for which he ardently longed. It 
appeared to me, as if settled unbehef, though 
only in a few, weighed down his own faith 
much more than the coldness and indifference 
of a far greater number. It seemed to hang 
upon him, (and I think I have heard him so 
describe it,) *as a dead weight,' encumbering 
and retarding his spirit, when it was struggling 
to get free, and ascend to plead with God for 
the congregation. Under the pressure of such 
a feeling, I have even known him call upon 
such as were indisposed to believe to quit the 
chapel, with a tone and manner of solemn 
earnestness which must have thrilled through 
every mind." 

His own heart, however, was fixed. Hi's 
principles were too firmly established within, 
to be materially affected by the variation of 
circumstances without. As indifference could 
not quell them, so the resistance of unbelief 
served more fiilly to confirm them. To the 
friend from whom I have just quoted, who, on 
one occasion lamented the obstructions which 



Ml MEMOIRS OF THB 

presented tlieraselves to his success, he replied 
in his o>vn laconic and decisive style, — ^* I know 
the plan on which I am acting; I have tried it • 
and found its success.** And this was sufficielit 
for his o\«ii niind. Before a spirit of Ini 
decision, others of a less determined character 
naturally gave way, and though the blessKOgi 
which he sought were retarded, they were not 
ultimately prevented. Indeed, as the following 
extract fitnn a letter to his parents will show, 
he was not without early and unequivoeai 
ttkkeiis of the divine approbation upon his 
efforts. 

"WiNOsoR, ^>/)/. 15, 18S0. — lam going to 
Uxhridgt* ttwlay, God willing; — a place nine 
luileM distant, fonnerly connected with "Wind- 
tiot, hut which has been given up about two 
years. I was there last week making the 
ueressary inquiries. 1 believe it is a provi- 
dential o)H'inng, and 1 anticipate much good. 
Several art* longing for the bread of life. Last 
Tuesday night 1 visited a place near Wind- 
sor, wlu»re 1 liope gixxl will be done. When I 
raiue, I saw that ver}* little indeed was done, 
and also that much needed doing. I was 
almost ready to despond; but I recovered my- 
self by considering that the work is Grod's, 
that He has all power, and that He is wilHng 
and solicitous to save the whole world. Last 
Sunday afternoon, it pleased God to set two 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 135 

aouls at liberty, while I was preaching from, 
* Come unto me, all ye that labour and are 
Jbeavy laden, and I will give you rest.' One 
woman got down upon her knees while I was 
preaching, and kneeled until we concluded. I 
then hastened to her and said, ^ Woman, are 
you happy ? ' She said, * I am.' — ' When did 
you receive this happiness?' — 'While you 
were preaching,' she said, * I beUeved that 
God had pardoned all my sins.' I then called 
upon the friends to sing, 'Praise God, from 
whom all blessings flow,' &c. They who were 
going out stopped, and assisted us to praise 
God. The other woman did all she could to 
conceal her emotions, but she was observed 
by her leader, to whom she confessed that 
God had then set her soul at liberty. I was 
not acquainted with this imtil afterwards. 
Last night I was renewing the tickets. A 
yoimg man was present who had not found 
peace. I told him God was willing to par- 
don him then. While I was at prayer, he 
began to be in deep distress, and cried aloud. 
I;, concluded, that those who wished to go 
might have an opportunity, and requested any 
who were so disposed, to remain with us. 
The young man continued on his knees, xm- 
willing to rise without a sense of pardon. I 
and one of the leaders remained with him 
until, after a smart struggle, it pleased God to 



136 MEMOIRS OF THE 

set his soul at liberty. He then sang, ^'0 
Lord, I will praise thee; though thou wast 
angry with me, thine anger is turned away 
and thou comfortest me.' We all triumphed 
in the mercy of our God. I do not intend to 
despond. God can, and does, and will work. 
We have a few in this place truly pious, who 
long for the prosperity of Zion. The people 
are very kind, and are solicitous to make us 
comfortable. We are in good health throu{^ 
mercy, and are trusting in God for a fiill sal- 
vation." 

Immediately after his coming to Windsor^ 
Mr. Smith's mind was painfully affected by 
the numerous and glaring instances of the vio- 
lation of the Sabbath, which presented them- 
selves on every hand. Among other meaos 
which he adopted for the diminution of this 
evil, were regular weekly visits to the shops of 
Sabbath breakers. Wherever he found in his 
neighbourhood, articles exposed for sale, he 
entered, and with affectionate firmness, remon- 
strated with the parties to whom they belonged, 
on the sin and danger of their conduct. The 
reader vrill readily anticipate the fact, that 
though his admonitions were very troublesome 
to such persons, yet their success was but par- 
tial. Some success, however, it is gratifying to 
record, did attend them. 

A daily prayer meeting at five o'clock in 



EEV. JOHN SMITH. 187 

ling, and a similar meeting after the 
evening preaching, were some of the 
for the revival of the work of God 
r. S. employed, almost firom the time 
rrival at Windsor. They were at- 
the happiest results. His estimation 
means of grace has already been 
and to them he, in common with 
successful ministers of modem me- 
pvas greatly indebted for his useful- 
n different places,** says one of his 
riends, in special reference to this 
his life, "and according to the dif- 
umstances in which Mr. Smith found 
r the people among whom he was 
his plan of action in reference to 
al of the work of God which was 
re his fint object, was doubtless sub- 
rious modifications. But in general, 
, as it pre-eminently was wherever 
tnessed his labours, the fruits of his 
vere most decisive and abundant in 
for prayer." These were usually to 
ns of extraordinary physical, as well 
1 effort, though there were interesting 
of a different class. " On one occa- 
r returning from a meeting, where 
ms had obtained entire sanctification 
tiight, he remarked, * I was not equal 
exertion, and chiefly said,— Thy 



138 MEMOIRS OF TH]B 

blood was shed for this very purpose ; — cleanse 
them, Lord!'" 

But ^^ it was not only by his own individual 
exertions that Mr. S. acted upon otheiii 
Among the numbers converted by his miniistiyj 
there were always some who imbibed his viewi 
and spirit, and who engaged themselves after 
his example, in * holding forth the word, of 
life.' It was indeed part of his plan, to foni 
and encourage others to work for God* A 
aided them by his counsel, sjrmpathy, aai 
prayers; maintained an intercourse with them 
when separated, and made occasional visits to 
London and elsewhere, in order to assist thdi 
exertions. — So that it is not only the instance! 
in which he was immediately and directly tlie 
instrument, (numerous as these were,) that an 
to be recounted when we number up the 
spiritual children whom the Lord gave him; 
nor are we to annex to these, only those remote 
effects which usually ensue in the private 
circle of individuals newly converted to Qoi\ 
but we are bound . especially to add to them 
those cases in which he was a spiritual fittheff 
in scarcely the second degree, because occur- 
ring under the instrumentality of men who 
were not only his own children in the gospel, 
but who continued to act under his direction, 
and looked expressly to him for counsel and 
encouragement. " 



REY. JOHN SMITH. 199 

was it merely among the host of soob 
e conversion he was the direct instm* 
lat he found the partakers of his spirit, 

willing agents of his plans. The 
litj of many others he succeeded in 
f : to occasional and untaught fimrour, he 
e principle and direction, and kindled 

and persevering zeal in hearts which 
1 been comparatively cold and inert. It 
;ially in meetings for prayer that such 
{ were formed. There was in his atmos- 
liese times, a moral stimulus so power* 
incere minds could scarcely fidl to catch 
of his heaven-descended spirit. Here 
ills principles brought into actual piac- 
the value of his plans attested by their 
id anticipated operation. Every such 
^as a series of striking and triumphant 
nts; and it was thus, mainly, that 
) formed that class of individuab whom 

the most prominent feature of their 
', was accustomed to designate " the 
men." Of the majority of these, the 
ty is, that had it not been for his in- 
they would have remained — howc\'er 
ly upright and sincere — of little service 
hurch of God. Hence, in attempting 
an estimate of the extent of his useful- 
is necessary to include, not only the per- 
whom reference has been made above, 



140 MEMOIRS OF THE 

but those also to whom, through the 
nate agency of men whom he had tra 
was, in a remoter but not less certai 
the instrument of conversion. Had 
no higher service to the church of C 
alone would have been sufficient to en 
to peculiar honour. The traveller lo 
deep interest upon the rock which po 
the waters of the infant Nile : with h 
more profound emotion ought he to 
plate the mighty river itself, as thi 
numerous channels, it difi^es univ< 
tility and abundance ! — the fitter embl< 
zeal and wisdom of the subject of these 
By the minutes of conference. Mi 
appointed to exchange regularly ^ 
Hammersmith preachers. On his firs 
that circuit, he witnessed on several 
the exertion of the saving power of C 
one place, two persons obtained mer 
his sermon. One of them, a woman 
in the firont of the gallery, as soon t 
done preaching, rose up and publicly 
of the salvation which she had recei 
these were but the prelude to yet mo 
sive success in that neighbourhood. J 
in his own circuit, he diligently pu] 
plans. He firequently preached out o 

♦ In this duty, Mr. S. was several times exp 
violence of wicked men. Having once engage 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 141 

the weather permitted, especially in places 
bich he had not other means of access, 
ucceeded in establishing societies in some 
es which had never before been visited by 
aethodist preachers; and on every hand, 
ing prospects of use&lness began to pre- 
hemselves. 

Lmong those who engaged his particular 
don and care," says the friend from whom 
e already quoted largely, "were the sol- 
of the regiments of life guards, who were 
jsively stationed at the neighbouring bar- 
To many of that fine body of men, he 
nade eminently useful. He felt for their 

sand-bank, contiguous to one of the villages which 
in the habit of visiting, he was informed before he 
that several mischievously disposed persons intended 
present and interrupt the service. He was not, 
T, to be deterred from his purpose by the apprehen- 
danger. The congregation assembled; he gave out 
I and prayed. In the mean time the mob had con- 
m empty cart to the summit of the bank, designing 
he attention of the people was occupied, to drive it 
y down the steep. The principal agent in this piece 
edness, however, by some means got entangled with 
or some such thing, and was thrown down with so 
brce as to be personally injured. This retarded the 
8 of the cart ; the preacher and his audience had the 
inity of getting out of the way, and no evil ensued, 
were also other instances, in which attempts to 
him and his congregations proved equally unsuc- 



142 MEMOIRS OF THE 

naturally exposed situation, and rejoiced in 
their profession of godliness, as marked by miiD 
decision, and maintained under severer tempta^ 
tions than ordinary. Nor was he» I think, 9 
sensible to the manly hearing of these 
soldiers. Certainly if there was any quality 
admired that was not in itself religious, it 
manliness under all its forms. We love toiei 
the feelings of the man thus disclosing thfla" 
selves in the Christian. And thus I remembt! 
being pleased, when the habitual current. of j 
his thoughts and conversation was interrupted, 
(though but for a moment,) by a natural ex: 
pression of pleasure at the interesting appetf? 
ance of some Eton boys,s whom he seemed 
to regard with just the sort of complacent 
which a fether might have expressed had thej 
been his own. Several of these pious soldien 
also, were men of no common &ith and prayer; 
and active in promoting such meetings, ani 
using such means as were calculated to spread 
religion." Of the work of God among this in- 
teresting class of persons, Mr. S. thus speab, 
in a letter to his parents dated, Jan. 11, 18St: 
" On the Sunday evening before Chrii^tinas 
day, a corporal in the horse guards found peace. 
He was awakened about three weeks be&re 
at our chapel. His father is a methodist at 
Cleckheaton. Last Tuesday week, he had an 
affecting discovery of inbred sin, and the wh(de 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 143 

a£ the week longed for a clean heart. This 
naming at our half past five o*clock prayer 
meeting, God cleansed him from all sin, and 
m made confession before all present; such a 
lonfession I think I never heard. I hope he 
rill be very useful. On Christmas day, another 
oldier and his wife were awakened, while I 
ras praying in our chapel. The Wednesday 
allowing they came to our house with cor- 
poral £., a pious jnan, who obtained entire 
anctification about three weeks ago; and it 
leased the Lord to set them both at Uberty. 
ieveral other soldiers are earnestly seeking 
fcardon." 

Among those for whom Mr. Smith was pe- 
uliarly interested, was a corporal who once 
ajoyed religion, but who had forsaken God 
nd his people. His wife was a pious woman : 
he mourned deeply on his account, and per- 
everingly prayed for his restoration. It was 
oie day impressed ^on Mr. Smith*s mind to 
isit this man, and accompanied by Mrs. S. he 
Kralked as far as the door of his house, where 
IB met his wife. " Well, Mrs. B.," said he, 
i* where is your husband?'* With much con- 
cern, she replied, " Yonder he is, going to the 
races." " I will follow him," he said, and 
wdthout entering the dwelling, hastily set ofi* 
n the direction indicated. The corporal soon 
perceived that he was pursued, and q[uickening 



144 MEMOIRS OF THE 

his pace, succeeded before Mr. S.^ came up 
with liim, in getting into a ferry-boat. ¥rfaidi 
would have taken him across the river, to 
within a few minutes* walk of the race-counei 
The boatman however had to put haxii fit, 
another passenger. This brought him nes 
the friend whom he so much wished to shun, 
who solemnly accosted him with, ** Did you 
pray about it before you set out?" The in- 
quiry fastened on his conscience: he went to 
the races, and was wretched: "Did you praj 
about it before you set out?" still seemed to 
ring in his ears. He soon returned home, but 
he could not succeed in dislodging the arrow 
which was fixed in his heart. When Mr. Smitl 
next visited him, he was in deep diBtresSi 
Mr. S. invited him to unite himself to the 
people of God. He did so, and never rested 
till the Lord healed his backslidings, and 
restored him to his favour. He became • 
useful character, and for some time has been, 
as he now is, an active class leader in the 
regiment. 

In the letter from which our last extract 
was made, Mr. S. thus speaks of the work in 
general. — " I have still to lament an almost 
general want of effort in these parts. It is 
lifting work to get the people to God, but help 
is laid upon One that is mighty to save. "When 
the Spirit comes, there must be a moving. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 145 

We are, encouraged to expect the Holy Spirit, 
not only by the sure word of promise, but also 
by what we receive. Thank God, there is a 
striving among the people. Some are teazed, 
and are ready to leave the society, or at least 
Iiave had thoughts of it : but others are looking 
to God, panting, labouring for God. Several 
are on the point of receiving entire sanctiiica- 
tion, and a few have received that blessing. 
Others have obtained pardon. The last time 
I was at Uxbridge, two souls found peace, and 
one the time before, who shortly afterwards 
was cleansed from all sin, as he and I were 
praying together in his bedroom. He has just 
begim to preach, and I hope will be useful. 
For two years he was a backslider. This day 
fortnight, I and my wife went to take tea with 
Brother S., whose wife a short time ago was a 

persecutor On my return from Stoke, after 

preaching, I thought God would save her. 
After a few inquiries, we began to pray. The 
power of God came upon her: she groaned for 
mercy, and after a struggle, God set her soul 
at liberty. Her husband found peace a few 
months before. A young woman found peace 
at one of our morning meetings, about a fort- 
night ago. God you see is working. Since I 
wrote last, I have changed with one of the 
Reading preachers. At the prayer meeting 
after evening preaching at Reading, four or 

H 



146 MEMOIRS OF THE 

five found peace. But it is rather strange waA 
in these parts, for souls to be in distress and 
to get hbertT. I hope it will not continiie so, 
and that it will not be opposed^ but desiied 
and laboured for. My soul is happy in GodL 
I am looking for a greater personal salvatioD 
and for glorious outpourings of the Spirit upoo 
tlie people. I confidently expect them." 

Many notices of facts similar to the fore- 
jrfjing occur in ilr. Smith's correspondence of 
this period, but as they are not connected indth 
any details, I forbear to insert them. The fial- 
io^\ing extracts from his private papers will 
show how fiilly he maintained the simplicity 
of his piety. — "Windsor, June 8, 1821. — On 
all created objects is written in legible charac* 
U;rs, — Vanity ! I beUeve the report, and turn 
from the creature to the Creator, the Fountain 
of happiness. He is accessible through the 
incarnation, sufferings, death, and intercession 
of his only begotten Son, whom he hath set 
forth, * a propitiation for the sins of the whole 
world.' I come to Him through Jesus Christy 
and thankfully avail myself of the blessings 
which he freely offers. I rest on Christ for 
the pardon of my past sins, for the destruction 
of the body of sin, and for God as my portion. 
He gives himself to me. I am his : He is 
mine. I present my dear Ellen to Him, and 
depend upon Jesus Christ for his blessing upon 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 147 

her also. God is her portion. I pray that we 
may be a blessing to each other, to the church, 
and to the world. The people around us are 
in a deplorable state. We want general and 
abundant outpourings of the Spirit. I want 
more sympathy. 

" 9. God reveals himself to me as a Fountain 
of mercy. I liave increasing power to lay hold 
on his truth. This is the result of the fresh 
baptisms of the Spirit with which I have this 
day been &voured. I have an increase of sym- 
pathy ; Glory be to God ! I will endeavour to 
be anxiously careful for nothing ! God is bless- 
ing my dear Ellen. She is precious in his 
sight. We shall have more of the mind of 
Christ. Amen. 

** 10. My soul is at rest in God — ^is centred 
in God. My desire is to Him. All my springs 
are in Him, and he is in me, 'a well of 
water, springing up into everlasting life.' In 
endeavouring to water others, I have myself 
been watered. In the right of Jesus, I claim 
the promise of the Spirit. God admits my 
claim : He must : — * He spared not his own 
Son.' Oh how astonishing is the love of God! 
How astonishing are the blessings to which 
He invites ! But He offers them. I will, I do 
accept them. I have spoken plainly and affec- 
tionately to the people. May God give the in- 
crease for Christ's sake ! Amen." 

H 2 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 149 

dHermned to believe* And as he set no 
to the efficacy of fedth, so he appeared 
none to its application. When I have 
engaged in writing a letter, he has called 
itome, ^Writeinfeithl' 
'But the daily victories of &ith were ac- 
lied with daily conflicts. * We may sup- 
s' said he, * that believing is difficult work, 
rase the blessings of salvation are suspended 
it, and they are great.' Speaking to him of 
tiainerd's life and his eminent piety, he replied, 
I' He laboured ioT it; and all that are eminently 
aous, labour for it.* At another time he said. 
Ah, that is the way; to be always at it; — to 
le on fiill stretch.' — ^When I spoke to him on 
one occasion of the quiet manner of some emi- 
nent Christians, he appeared to acquiesce in the 
aentiment, that it is not (equally an eflbrt to all, 
to believe ; but to himself, he said, it was a con- 
flict. We are however to remember that his 
Sfe was a continual struggle of faith to raise 
aihers ; and all the opposition, not only of their 
imbelief, but of Satan himself, must have been 
set in array * to resist him.' 

" Of the efficacy of his own faith, the number 
of conversions which took place under him, and 
of which * the greater part remain unto this 
present,' — is an incontestable and abiding monu- 
ment. But those who knew him, must re- 
member many evidences equally conclusive to 



150 MEMOIRS OF THE 

themselves, although less capable of being at^ 
tested and verified to others. I have n^self 
seen a whole congregation so perceptibly quiek- 
ened in their devotions on his entrance into the 
chapel, though unperceived by every one, that 
it could be imputed to nothing but the earnest 
exercise of his faith ; and I have found on in- 
quiring whether it were not so, that he had 
been employed in an act of fidth for the people 
as he came in." 

Li the month of Jime, he paid a visit to his 
friends at Brighton, and was deeply affected — 
to use his own words — " vdth the goodness of 
God in the kindness of the people." On the 
Sunday evening on which he preached there, 
the Spirit of God descended powerfully on the 
congregation. Many were deeply convinced 
of sin; fifteen or sixteen persons obtained 
pardon, and the meeting was continued till 
nearly midnight. On the following day, he 
attended the quarterly meeting of the circuit 
at Lewes. In the evening he preached, and 
the Lord granted the congregation a baptism 
of fire. His subject was the love of God to 
man ; and he urged on his hearers the duty of 
loving God in return, fi:om the consideration 
that this alone would fit them for heaven. For 
himself, he said, in his own pathetic style, he 
did love God, and he intended to get to heaven. 
He then appealed to the people, whether they 



REV« JOHN SMITH. 151 

would go with him. Pausing as for a reply, 
there was of course profound silence, and every 
heart seemed filled with the deepest emotion. 
Then turning to his friend Mr. Calder, he said 
in a thrilling tone, " Brother Calder, will you 
go to heaven ? " As well as he could articulate 
for weeping he replied, "By God's grace, I 
will." — " Hear him," cried Mr. S., vnth a loud 
voice, " he says he will ; " and then, as if put- 
ting a seal to a solemn covenant, he feelingly 
added " Amen, — and now for all of you ; God 
is here to receive your vow, and help you 
to fulfil it." The efiect was magical: awe 
appeared to rest on every spirit, and multitudes 
testified that they had never before observed 
such an impression from simple and anointed 
eloquence. 

Nothing can convey to the reader who never 
witnessed the exertions of the man, the degree 
of intense fervour to which he was wrought, 
by the time he had finished his sermon. He 
seemed rapt, inspired ; and to a certain degree 
his auditors were carried v^ith him. He then 
called on the Rev. John Pipe — ^who had suc- 
ceeded him in the Brighton circuit — to pray. 
The Spirit of intercession had come on him 
also, and vnth extraordinary earnestness he 
besought God to bless the circuit. Full of 
confidence and ardour, and forgetful of every 
thing but the amplitude of the petition, Mr. S. 



152 MEMOIRS OF THE 

pronounced an Amen, like the sound of t 
der. A second petition that God would 
the nation y elicited a second and still If 
Amen. But when he who prayed, exta 
the exercise of his faith and charity, calk 
God to bless the world, Mr. S. uttered t 
extreme of his voice, an AMEN which ti 
through ever}' heart, and seemed to i 
the energy of its faith into those who 
it ; — " making," says Mr. Calder, " the 
most memorable aincns that I, or I thin 
human being, ever heard." When th( 
sendee had concluded, and before the 
mencement of the prayer meeting whic 
ceeded it, Mr. S. rushed out into the 
and lifting up his mighty voice, so thi 
people in their houses could distinctly 
him, he called on them to come and ] 
the blessing of a present salvation. Th 
turning into the chapel, he proceeded tc 
in carrying on the prayer meeting, and h 
happiness of seeing that night about 1 
souls delivered from the burden of thei 
as were two more by his instrumentality 
foUowing morning.* 

* The following note from his private papers ap 
have been written immediately on his return home 
28. I am thankful that I went to Brighton, 
gained a blessed increase of personal salvation. O 
jpay grow in grace constantly ! I hope I shall ha' 




REV. JOHN SMITH. 153 

' IMt might naturally be supposed^ that much 
[version woiild follow this singular scene, 
the contrary,' however, so fully was Mr. 
ith's — shall I call it — unique character un- 
tarstood, and so highly was his worth appre- 
that Uttle surprise and no displeasure 
awakened even in the town. All inquiry 
silenced by, " It was only Mr. Smith come 
visit his old friends." Of course the fore- 
relation is not proposed as an example. 
-' -^le himself was alive to the occasional singu- 
:- ^Writies of his behaviour in public, and he <mly 
demanded for them the fbrbearance of others, 
fie never attempted to justify them, as indeed 
- they were incapable of justification, or even of 
comprehension, except to such as had been 
J 'iinder the power of similar emotion : — emotion 
s^ which in his case sometimes appeared very 
closely to resemble inspiration. 

Yet Mr. Smith was no enthusiast. They 
who deem him such, either do not know the 
indications of the character and the significa- 
tion of the term, or they grievously misunder- 
stand the man to whom they venture to apply 
it. His principles were as soimd and sober, as 
liis vehemence in employing them was extraor- 

S3n[npathy for the people in this circuit I have more 
already than I had when I went to Brighton. This is the 
resolt of that increase of grace which I have received. 
Glory he to God ! " 

H 5 



154* MEMOIRS OF THE 

dinary and reastless. Indeed his mind was 
essentiallj unimaginative, and deficient in the 
inventive taucvlty. It was distinguished by its 
strength of common sense, shrewdly observant 
of human nature, endowed with a keen sense of 
the ridiculous, and remarkable for its natural 
and healthy cheerfiilness. Is it too much to 
affirm, that there never was, and that there never 
will be an enthusiast made of such materials? 
'^Enthusiasm is a term, not of measurement, 
but of quality.'* It does not describe what is 
intensely good, but what is essentially eviL 
It is the religion of the imagination, and not 
of the heart. There is no antidote against it 
so in&llible as that which was possessed in 
a peculiar degree by the subject of these 
memoirs, — simple, earnest, scriptural and ab-' 
sorbing piety. This in him was strikingly 
practical : it was not made up of reveries and 
visions, or maintained by occasional impulses 
and frequent abstraction. He knew nothing 
of those speculations without which enthusiasm 
must die, which tickle the fancy, but leave the 
heart untouched ; — ^pleasant enough to the con- 
templation, but practically worse than useless, 
like the phosphoric lights of a damp summer 
evening, which play around objects, but have 
no power to enter them, and only serve to 
scare the traveller, or lead him astray. His 
religion pervaded all the occupations of com- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 155 

mon life ; it was elevated and impassioned, but 
without the slightest taint of fanaticism, either 
of doctrine or experience ; it never revolted from 
the most ordinary subjects and engagements ; it 
presided in his home as well as in the sanctuary, 
and to use a common but expressive phrase, it 
ivore well in all the rubs of the world. 

If however by enthusiasm be meant, the 
single, devoted, unwavering pursuit of one ob- 
ject; the concentration of mighty and sanc- 
tified affections; the labouring night and day, 
with many tears, for the salvation of men ; the 
literally counting "all things loss" for Christ; 
the expecting the fulfilment of the promises of 
God in their most ample sense ; the ready and 
constant preference of the interests of eternity 
to those of time, however worthy to be con- 
sulted : — ^if, in short, the loving God with all 
the heart, and serving him with all the strength 
be enthusiasm, John Smith was an enthusiast. 
But the term which describes such a character, 
fex from being a term of reproach, is a title of 
the highest dignity ; and there is no instructed 
Christian who would not covet to gain it, or 
would not glory in it when acquired. To use 
the words of Mr. Smith's attached friend, — 
" He who best secures an end which many aim 
at, may well be presumed to have employed 
the best, and therefore the most rational means. 
And consequently, since the salvation of souls 



156 MEMOIRS OF THE 

is the end of the Christian ministry, his known 
and eminent success, compared with that of 
most others, may well establish the superior 
fitness of the means employed by him. In 
other words, it transfers the suspicion of en« j 
thusiasm to those*' who imagine that a point- * 
less generalizing harangue on some theological 
subject, that the mere " letting off a sermon" 
is to convey " life from the dead," and to 
demolish the bastions of Satan and unbelief 
The " gentle theologues," whose nerves are 
stung with such exquisite sensibility, that 
they are alarmed at the slightest ripple on the 
dead calm of human affections, and yet expect 
to accelerate the period when "the sea shall 
roar and the fulness thereof," are the real 
visionaries. " And we who mourn that an 
Elijah is taken &om us, and would fain catch 
something of his spirit, will be content that it 
shall be said of him, ' whether he were beside 
himself, it was for God; or whether he were 
sober, it was for our cause; for the love of 
Christ constrained him.' 

" But nothing can more decisively show the 
thorough sobriety of his judgment, than his 
sentiments on that very subject in which 
ignorance or prejudice might be disposed to 
allege that he went too far. It is common for 
persons to conceive of, and expect the influ- 
ence of the Holy Ghost, only as some un- 



REV, JOHN SMITH. 157 

defined and inarticulate illapse promised in 
answer to prayer. It is even rare to hear 
Truth pointed out as the appointed and or- 
dinary medium of operation to the blessed 
Spirit, and yet it might easily be shown that 
this is the doctrine of the New Testament.* 
Nothing can more clearly evince the rational 
and scriptural character of Mr. Smith's piety, 
than a saying of his on this one subject. * The 
Spirit,' said he, * blesses in the truth: there- 
fore get to know the states of the people, and 
apply appropriate truths Could a sentiment 
be mentioned or even imagined that would be 
a better test of sound general views? And 
whatever he did or said was in harmony with 
it. The law and the testimony furnished the 
rule by which he acted. Whether he en- 
couraged the penitent to believe, or the believer 
to expect entire sanctification, his exhortation 
was to *lay hold on the truth of God.' In 
the spirit of the same views he always incul- 
cated that * God will not go out of his own 
order.' Perhaps a calmer school of theology is 
not always equally scriptural." 

The man who would effect any thimr con- 
siderable in the Christian ministry, must be 
fertile in expedients. He may sometimes feel 

* See, for example, John viii. 32: com'p. 2 Cor. iii. 17, 
18 ; John xvii. 17 ; £ph. v. 26 : com^. Tit iii. 5 ; 2Thess. 
ii. 13 ; 1 Pet i. 22, 23 : comp, James i. 18, &c. &c. 



158 MEMOIRS OF THE 

the necessity of doing or saying iir^ukr 
things.* In such cases, he has nothing to 
guide him, but a sound judgment and a conect j 
taste ; nor is any person qualified to decide 
upon the propriety of such measures, except 

* To prevent misunderstanding however, it should be 
remarked, that occasions for irregularity are comparatiy^ 
rare. For a minister to play odd tricks, especially withoBl 
any specific purpose, is the sure way to make himself ridiCB- 
lous, and to bring religion into contempt. We tolerate ai 
occasional departure from ordinary method, in a practicil 
man, whose design we are convinced is not only good, bat 
also distinctly traced before his own mind. But if frcmi tbe 
frequent recurrence of eccentricity, a person is suspected of 
being under the influence of a fondness for novelty merely, or 
of designing " to court a grin when he should woo a son],"--' 
he becomes the object of deserved ^com. For the subject cl 
these memoirs, there was among all who knew him, the 
highest degree of forbearance, even where his design in . 
irregularity was not fully comprehended ; and reason good| 
since it was always felt that in his own mind, he had t 
clear discernment of the way in which his conduct vai 
likely to operate beneficially. But he has had a host of 
imitators who, as is common in such cases, have aped some 
of his occasional singularities without at all understanding 
them or their motives. The greater part of these, of course 
have few of his excellencies, to command that esteeni) 
which their foolish mockery directly tends to repd* 
What was nature in him, is in them the veriest afiectatioii, 
and their absurd endeavours to connect his energetic and 
original methods, with their own puny and ill digested 
conceptions, are as vain and ridiculous, as would be the at- 
tempt of an archer to make an efficient arrow of a heavy 
barbed head of iron attached to a shaft of straw. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. , 159 

he be admitted to the full understanding of 
all their secret reasons. Mr. Cecil, on one 
occasion, broke off in the middle of a sermon, 
and exclaimed to an inattentive audience, 
** Last Monday morning a man was hanged at 
Tyburn." During the rest of the service, he 
had what he wished, the interest of his con- 
gregation. If ever the subject of these pages 
seemed to sin against taste, — and it was not a 
common thing for him even to seem so to trans- 
gress, — ^the circimistances of the case, if fully 
comprehended, would amply have justified him 
in the estimation of all, who preferred the 
effects which he laboured to produce, to the 
roundness of a period, or the classic style of a 
metaphor. To illustrate the subject of minis- 
terial expedients, suppose a hardened sinner 
in the lowest class of society, who is too stout- 
hearted to be affected by terror, and too bru- 
talized to be softened by tenderness. There 
is one avenue to his spirit, and but one. You 
may impress him, if you can only make his 
sin appear mean, contemptible, and ridiculous. 
Every one practically acquainted with hiunan 
nature, vnSL readily recall to his mind indi- 
viduals more or less of this character. Now 
how are such to be reached? Probably only 
by the very broadest sarcasm, by illustrations 
which would shock a refined ear, by truth in 
its least courtly garb. — And shall one for whom 



160 MEMOIRS OF THE 

Christ died perish, because he cannot be saved 
in accordance with a fastidious taste ? — Well 
might the subject of these memoirs say, in his 
animated colloquial intercourse, that saving soab 
was rough work! 

There are other cases, in which ministen 
are brought into collision with minds, upoD 
which nothing but the coarsest and most pal- 
pable images of terror, can produce any 
impression. Some men of this class there are, 
who seem to have, of serious forethought, 
placed themselves under a sentence of moTBl 
outlawry, — ^vulgar, pert, sensual infidels, who 
refuse to listen to any thing in the shape o( 
religious counsel, till all their silly and thread- 
bare objections have been duly canvassed. 
But even these men must be restrained in 
something like the observance of decency; and 
Mr. Smith, though he never descended to the 
vain task of arguing vdth them at large, ofbai 
by assuming a tone of terrible sternness, and 
by the declaration of some fearful truth in the 
most plain ,and personal manner, succeeded in 
silencing, if he could not shame them. I make 
no apology for the introduction of the foUovr- 
ing anecdote illustrative of this subject. At 
a place in the Windsor circuit, Mr. S. was 
compelled to lodge at an inn; and one evening 
while getting his supper in the public room, 
which was very full of company, a person, who 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 161 

tad indulged in a great deal of vain and fool- 
ish conversation, but had not said any thing 
sufficiently glaring for Mr. S. to lay hold of 
by ,way of reproof, — told a story of an old 
man lately dead, who had suffered great pain 
from a curious accident, and who, under these 
circumstances, swore very much. " Did he 
swear, sir?" said Mr. S., looking very gravely 
at the narrator. " Yes, sir," was the reply. 
*' Then I fear he is gone to hell," rejoined the 
other. " There is no such a place, sir," said the 
infidel, in a saucy tone of defiance. "Ha," 
cried Mr. S., elevating his voice and putting 
on one of his severest looks, " is there not ? — 
half an hour in hell-fire will spoil your merri- 
ment, my man ! " The company were struck 
with terror, and in two minutes, the room was 
entirely cleared. 

And as Mr. S. was never deterred from the 
reproof of sin by the apprehension of personal 
danger, and was unusually fearless and severe 
where the occasion demanded it, so was he 
remarkably discriminating in the modes in 
which he addressed himself to the sinner. 
**He was also," to employ the statement of 
his friend, "equally collected and ready in 
making good his views. The explosion of bad 
temper and angry language did not move him 
from * his propriety.' He went on strengthen- 
ing his point; luming the concessions of his 



16S MEMOIRS OF THE 

opponents against themselves, and leaving 
them astonished at his courage, silenced hy 
his arguments, and often soothed by his kind- 
ness and command of temper into reconcilia- 
tion." He invariably interfered in street 
brawls, whenever any such presented them- 
selves to his notice. Usually he laid hold on 
each of the combatants, and held them at i 
distance from each other, which his great 
strength readily enabled him to do, and in that 
position expostulated with them alternately in 
a terrific and a tender manner. It was a raw 
thing for him in these cases to fail in makhig 
a deep impression on all who heard him^ sod 
a stiU rarer for him not to succeed in restoring 
order and peace. " Nor, so far as I know, 
was he ever personally assailed in consequence 
of his interference, except by such abuse as he 
well knew how to put to shame, by a cahn and 
steady assertion of truths, which even the mort 
wicked are not usually disposed to deny. Tlie 
utmost approach to any thing like violence 
which I ever heard of, was when a man^ whom 
he had reproved on a stage coach for sweariagi 
threatened to horsewhip him. ' You don't daw 
do it,' said our undaimted friend; and the man 
awed by his quiet firmness, did not venture to 
repeat the threat." 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 163 



NOTE. 

In order to preserve in some measure the continuity of 
the text, the additional remarks on the suhject of revivals, 
suggested hy some parts of the foregoing section, are here 
annexed in a note. 

One of the most common objections to such meetings as 

those in which Mr. Smith distinguished himself, is that 

they are disorderly, and " God," say the objectors, is "not 

the author of confusion, but of peace." From this passage, 

it is intended that we should infer that revivals are not of 

God. But the very reverse is the legitimate conclusion. 

It would be strange logic indeed, which would enable any 

man to prove that the gifts of the Corinthian church were 

not divine, because they were irregularly employed. No 

parallel can therefore be instituted between the case in 

question and the state of that church, except by giving up the 

point in debate, and allowing what the foregoing passage is 

cited to disprove ; viz., that revivals are truly the work of 

God. The confusion in the Christian assemblies at Corinth 

was as pregnant a proof that their prophesyings were mere 

human acquirements, as irregularities are, that modem 

levivals are the results of natural excitement alone. Nay 

ipore, this passage, so often quoted by those who object to 

Vf^vals, will not apply in general even to the cases of 

allied disorders, because it is founded on the certain fact, 

that the inspiration of the Corinthian church was perfectly 

uder the influence, direction, and restraint of those who 

poaaetsed it. But who will venture to affirm this of the 

•wakenings of the Spirit of God? Though the spirit of the 

prophets^ was subject to the prophets, who will say that in 

all cases the feelings of a penitent sinner can be repressed, 

and that the man who is filled with conviction and agony 

can be utterly silent? Those who know any thing of deep 

and absorbing horror, will not wonder at the breach of what 



164 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



in ordinary cases, are properly esteemed the decencies of die 
house of God. Men under any very powerful emotion, fogit 
the modes of society, and no reasonable person ever Uamei 
them. When they " feel in themselves the heavy borthn 
of sin, see damnation to be the reward of it, and be! 
with the eye of their mind the horror of hell, they treml 
they quake, and call unto God for mercy ; " * and shall 
be said, because their cry is exceeding great and bitte; 
because it is not in measured tones and well turned peiiodii. 
because it is interrupted by sobs and groans ; because dMf 
forget every thing except the fact of their own wretcW 
and perilous condition, — that therefore they are not undff 
the influence of God's grace and power? 

It is readily conceded, that there is frequently needloi 
confusion in revivals; sometimes for want of a discreet ni 
influential person to superintend them; sometimes ftm 
much mere animal excitement, and sometimes firom cuiiotf 
and imaflected, or mischievous and scoffing spectatA 
— All these causes should, if possible, be removed; but I 
after all, any man suppose that a large number of pendi 
can be awakened from the stupor of sin suddenly tH 
powerfully; and yet no visible or audible variation tab 
place from ordinary modes of worship, — ^he will find to 
opinion contradicted, by all the histories of such facts, firoD 
the day of Pentecost downwards. The influence of Go4 
it is true, sometimes comes down " like rain upon a fleeet 
of wool," — softly and insinuatingly; but where large WBt 
hers, including every possible variety of character, are to be 
brought under it, it is necessarily of a difierent order;— 
like a Are, a hammer, a two-edged sword, a mighty rushing 
wind. The heart of Lydia, the Lord opened, but fl» 
majority of New Testament conversions, as far as thar 
specific character is stated, were effected in another and 
widely dissimilar mode. He, at least, who would not grieve 

* Homily of Fasting. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 165 

the Holy Spirit, must not prescribe to Him the way iii 
which He shall work; and if a person imagine that he 
does well to be angry, because men are not saved so quietly 
«• he desires ; and therefore strive to terminate a work 
i trhich is not conducted according to his notions of pro- 
priety, he will sin against God and his church ; and it is a 
jbarful reflection that in the day of the Lord, the blood of 
^. aauls may be required at his hands. A man in this preju- 
^•^ diced state of mind, is not even qualified to correct irregu- 
f larity ; and it is almost certain that if he attempt it, he will, 

»in repressing what is factitious, cool down, if not destroy, 
what is real and divine. Were Christians in general found 
^ in a more simple state of mind in reference to the work of 
God, might we not hope for a more rapid enlargement of 
the kingdom of Christ, and for the acceleration of the 
' millennial glory ? There is much practical inconsistency on 
. this subject It is not to be supposed that the glory of 
God will be revealed so that all flesh shall see it together ; 
-—that ancient systems of error are to be utterly and finally 
oirerthrown, and that Anti-Christ is to meet his dark and 
irretrievable doom, — and yet no phenomena present them- 
selves far more startling than those which characterize 
the progress of modern revivals. And these it is probable 
thail he as remarkable in the church as in the world.* We 

^ " It is visionary to expect an unusual success in the human 
administration of religion, unless there are unusual omens. Now 
an emphatical spirit of prayer would be such an omen : and the 
individual who should solemnly determine to try its last possible 
efficacy, might probably find himself becoming a much more 
pievailing agent in his little sphere. And if the whole, or the 
greater number of the disciples of Christanity, were, with an 
earnest unalterable resolution of each, to combine that Heaven 
should not withhold one single influence, which the very utmost 
effbrt of conspiring and persevering supplication would obtain, it 
would be a sign that a revolution of the world was at hand.*' 
Foster's Essays, 



166 MEMOIRS OF THE 

sometimes pray that the Spirit may come, and or 
all opposition ; — " like mighty winds or torrents fie 
but can that man be aware of the nature of such a pe 
who views with displeasure or with suspicioiiy the 
minute movements of the same power? — Can he long 
mighty wind, who starts at the murmur of a zephyr, 
prepared to hail the fierce torrent, who would fain ito 
gush of the mountain rivulet ? 

The most plausible arguments against revivals boi 
are, 1. that but a small number of those, who are dir 
their instrumentality, joined to Christand his church, rei 
consistent and steadfast in their profession ; and 2. 
such seasons of quickening are usually succeeded 
proportionate religious torpor and dulness. The fixfti 
objection, which may with equal force be urged sg 
conversions in general. There are always some i^ 
ceive the word with joy, but have no root in theiBfli 
and it is by no means manifest, that there are mon 
of superficial religion among the converts of revival^ 
among those who are made partakers. of saving £u 
seasons of ordinary feeling. Of course, where the g 
part of a Christian society have been brought to G 
such times, the larger proportion of apostates will be 
who then first made profession of faith. Nor shou 
omit to notice, that efforts are not unfrequently me 
give an imfortunate notoriety to the backslidings of 
who were converted in a revival. Among a certain d 
frigid spirits, there is pity for the sins of eveiy other 
of professors ; but when these fall from their steadfai 
if it be not absolutely said, " Aha, so would we ha\i 
there is often an expression of self-applauding and sa 
sagacity, which is but little better. 

But even if it be demonstrable that a larger numi 
apostacies succeed revivals, than any other mode c 
divine working, there is no difficulty in accounting 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 167 

Ititiide of them, from the indiscretion or neglect of those, 
ytk whom the care of the yomig in the church necessarily 
volves. It is hideed more than prohable that the circum- 
nces of the converts of revivals are disadvantageous 
yond those of any others. Spiritual infancy is invari* 
iiy a season of especial peril ; and if persons in this stage 

their Christian existence, are not the subjects of peculiar 
wtoral care ; if they do not receive much scriptural in- 
ruction ; and if they are not encouraged and urged, par- 
solaily to the exercises of secret devotion, — ^it is little less 
an a miracle for them to acquire any thing like religious 
fcablishment It is not needful for me to remark, how 
^ such necessities of the converts in question, are but 
itially considered. There is perhaps no period of spirit- 
1^ Hfe also, in which Christians less need excitement from 
eternal causes. They have usually so much simple and 
*^ght ardour, that they rather require something to 
(Strain and chasten. But how frequently are those of 
^Kim we now speak, intentionally placed in situations and 
iteouraged to exercises of precisely a contrary tendency ! 
ind what is the result? As in the state of natural, so in 
lAt of spiritual infancy, the administration of continual 
inmlants, even if connected with a measure of proper 
iment, cannot conduce to healthy growth : but if, instead 

the " sincere milk of the word" the diet of a new-born 
iristian consists of nothing but stimulants, his spiritual de- 
y is certain. And hence, no small number, who are really 
rn into the family of God in times of peculiar quickening, 
I again into the stupor and death of sin ; while of those 
to do not actually die to God, a lamentably large proportion 
» weak and dwarfish. But such facts except by ignorance 
d prejudice, are not capable of being construed into any 
jection to revivals of religion. They merely prove a want 
discernment or care afterwards, in those whom the Chief 
epherd has called to cherish the young of his flock. 



16S xiJic:*^ or the 



. l: i> ic nzj^Ts^ ikr^i^rrar ri^^iz x yprir^j of Trfi gMm mi 

I. jT is ria :c >* TM-drrs-i &:. sizik h k generally eiqpe 
Mi^T rxc =kz. VI.: i^r* 7P:^E^<d diis aoct of ru 
»dc=: zc fc:rc».i» ^a: li-f :y n^sss be an ebb after eroy : 
iZti ;ii» vicli be iz^^e fc-.-c^ vinv nie Mate of died 
c^zZ'zZ.iiz.z 'uprc il-e rAr.bc:i:» az>d bifahs of meie k 
c.£r=re. Be: ^^^tcIt ibfre ;:i:i be S3 socli necenitj i 
^Tr^iic poTcrs £=.i cirersiifec opeiTkXioiis of die HoIjS 
ar? £1 tA£ co^.T.ia-i cf f&fii: ^i^d -p/nyer. Does the acE^ 
i=^:r::ci a& xha: ihere is a necesinr for the boat of tiie 
ever lo give up it^e siuLes; ponicQ cf teRiUHy, whid 
Lc€n von tree: ihc po vers of darkness ! or that the cfam 
at any time called :o su'Knit u> an nnavcHdable retrogie 
in spiritual feeUng and ardour! The inarch of ' 
Faithful and True." anended by the armies of heave 
Eoi to triumph and retiea:. but ** cooqnecing and to I 
QUER." Erery victon* is to be the herald oi yet gn 
success, and every soul recovered from the foe, the pi' 
of more splendid achievement. Men may strive to ei 
their ovn sloth and di£dence, bv dreams of the interfer 
of the divine sovereignty'; but the scriptural represent! 
of the privilege of the indi\idual believer and of the chi 
remains unaltered : — ** The path of the just is as the shi 
light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect d 
It is therefore melancholy to remark, that a very diffe 
expectation is entertained by many, who are nevertb 
deeply interested in the work of God : and if they wil 
dulge in notions which cut the sinews of all efibrt, if i 
resolve to believe that the fertile field must again be char 
into a wilderness, and that instead of the fire tree shall c 
up the thorn, and instead of the myrtle tree the hik 
there can be no doubt but that in general they will be 
lowed to lapse into the state to which their antidpati 
tend. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 169 

The opinion that religious stupor necessarily succeeds 
revivals, is also often very zealously cherished by persons of 
influence and reputed sagacity, who are spectators of the 
progress of the work of God. There is a class of professors, 
who are quite alive to the dulness fuid coldness of the 
church at one time, and who appear sincerely to lament its 
defects ; hut who yet, by some strange obUquity of mind, 
seem unable at another, to discern or admit the fact of its 
prosperity. They regret that so little is done for God, and 
.yet shrink from opportunities of usefulness; and when sin- 
ners are awakened, and penitents pardoned, they look off 
from the cheering objects before them, and gravely predict 
a depressed and discouraging condition of the church at a 
future. period; nor is it any fault of theirs, if at any time 
their prophecies should be unfulfilled. It must be allowed 
that in general ihey at least do their best to produce that 
stupor which they so gravely prognosticate. Nor can 
it be matter of surprise, that they deter some, who would 
otherwise be disposed to labour for God, and repress the 
ardour of others who are actually engaged in the work. 
To snatch sinners as brands from the fire, is of itself sufii- 
ciently laborious, without meeting the cold and repulsive 
conduct of those, to whom from their situation and charac- 
ter, we are naturally disposed to look for encouragement 
But can any thing be more unfair and disingenuous, than 
for these individuals to employ that very state of dulness, 
in the production of which they themselves so materially 
assist, — as an argument against revivals ? Indeed they are 
not qualified to form an opinion on the subject; for even 
supposing that the cause of their dismal forebodings rella- 
tive to the work of God, is nothing worse than the weakness 
of their faith, — that alone, in this case, is sufficient to ren- 
der their judgment of no real weight The soldier who 
struck no blow in the fight, and who, in the moment of 
victory, could find no better employment than the antici- 

I 



170 MEMOIRS OF THE 

patian of defeat and diahonuur to the banners under 
he served, would not be esteemed any competent mQii) 
authority. 

But IherE is aometimea a more serious eauee of tbs 
of pennaneace in the fruits of revivals, as well aa ti/ 
state of bnrrenness which often aucceeda them; — a < 
which lies deeper than either of the furegoiog. It is 1 
found in a decay of the peieoDol piety of some of the 
minent members of the church. There is perhaps no dl 
of the devil more subtle, than that which would lead 
to neglect the engagements of the closet, on the pie 
public duty; andthereiscertainly nolemptationeoada 
to the season of revivals. Notliing can supply the plaei 
ijitercouise with God in secret ; and where this is bi]t | 
tially maintained, personal religion is sure to dec¥ 
While the joyous and stimulating scenes presented in 
awakening and conversion of sinnere are continually rec 
ring, the falling olf of individual experience may not 
detected : but let these disappear, — aa they certainljf 
with the declenaian of seriptural faith, — and themeland 
truth becomes hut too manifest. He who has yidAeft 
this master stToke of the tempter, then finds from hii 
cUnation for rcUgious ordinances generally, and panio 
for the calm and searching ones of the closet, that bel 
become weak, and, to a certain extent, like another i 
In many instances, the way in which revivals are 
ducted, tends directly to this issue. For example, tit 
there are some rare coses, in which it is morally impoi 
to conclude public services at what ordinarily is a mi 
able hour ; yet, in general, lale meeiings art tlie bane ^l 
iBork of God. What can be the results of a seriea of n 
■ngs, lasting for a whole week, and continuing till n* 
midnight, and sometimes even later? What, hut the 
tnrbanoe of famiiies, the prejudice of religion, the injt 
>if health, the dissipation uf the mind, unfitneas 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 171 

duties of life, and what is still worse, too olUn 
the ordinary duties of religion f It is the design of God 
)t8nj on the work of aaving souls continually; but it ia 
humanly speaking, that that dedgn must be frua- 
if both preachers and leadera exert themselrea, as is 
Itoo common, for so long a time, at so late hours. In- 
it is well known, that occasionally^ so tittle discretioa 
been exercised in €ke condnet d ^pnif^ meetinge in 
lar, that those who hare been moft interested in the 
of God, have not merely been compelled, by pure 
ion, to withdraw themselves from public exertion, 
have even wiriied for the termination of a work which 
iso dissipated their energies. It is physically irapossi- 
aa human nature is at present constituted, that God 
carry on his woik in the woiid with that gloriously 
and swelling influence which he intends it to exert, 
Fgtod men will be so utterly forgetAil of all the proprieties 
ftfaings, as well as of all the lessons of experience. 
The spiritual evils which to very many must result from 
injudiciously protracted meetings, it is hardly needful 
^farticularize. Religious dissipation is one of the most 
evfls with Vhich we have to contend. Its 
teristic power over many of our young people es- 
ly, renders remarkable, not that we have so many, 
that we have comparatively so few cases of apostacy in 
chmrch. How for instance is the Sabbath too often 
t? It is wholly occupied at prayer meetings, preach- 
lovefeasts; in Simday school teaching, the distribu- 
of tracts, or rambling after some favourite preacher, 
feanwhile what attention is paid to private prayer, read- 
[hg the scriptures, and self-examination ? During the time 
flf revivals, matters in these respects, are frequently worse 
llian at ordinary seasons, and the indiscretion is then by 
00 means confined to those, whose inexperience and natu- 
ral volatility might seem to supply them with some sort of 

I 2 



112 MEMOIRS OF THE 

apology. To prerent religions excitement fim degene- 
nting into religions diBsipationy — a tnmsitioQ which is veij 
readily effected, — peculiar diligence in the devoCioiial ex- 
ercises of the closet is necessary. And if a man be depiived 
of opportunities for these, as is the case with many of the 
agents in the meetings of which we now com^ain, the 
unavoidable consequence is serious iniiritnal loss. Hie 
pulse may still remain ; hut it is the hurried and irr^gnlir 
throb of fever, and not the steady and full beat of hesllL 
Now were these evils necessarily coincident with revivdi^ 
there would certainly be a show of reascm in the objectiom 
stated above. But since it is obvious that they are meielj 
abuses, which without much difficulty may be cofrected, we 
cannot admit them as any evidence on the question. Were 
that alone allowed to be good which is inciqpahle of abuse, 
we should establish a system of moral proeci^oiny which 
would not only blast all that is lovely in nature, but would 
leave little that is fair in religion. To denounce as nn- 
mixedly evil, a system, the greatest original fimlt of which 
is usually nothing more than indiscretion, — ^is a severity 
that does no honour either to the philosophy or the feeling 
of the censor; and to condemn the work of God to neglect 
or opposition, because connected with human ignorance 
and infirmity, is an outrage on the rights and authori^ of 
our blessed Saviour. In conclusion, the author takes the 
liberty of referring, for an ample and lucid exposition of 
the topics connected with this interesting question, to bis 
fatlier's pamphlet, entitled, ''Remarks on Revivals of 
Religion, &c." 8vo. Mason : London, 1827. 



REV, JOHN SMITH. 178 



X. 



WINDSOR CONTINUED. 1821—1822. 

1 

" Already in October 1821, fifty persons had 
received the blessing of pardon in the Windsor 
circuit, and scores in the Hammersmith circuit 
had obtained the same salvation; there pre- 
vaUed every where a more earnest spirit of 
religion, and the 'piety of various individuals 
had acquired, through Mr. Smith's example, 
a deeply interesting and usefiil character." Such 
is the statement of the friend, from whom 
I have already quoted so much at length, as 
to the spiritual prosperity which presented 
itself, almost immediately after the re-appoint- 
ment of Mr. S. to this circuit. Writing to the 
same person about this time, he thus exhorts 
him : " K I do not see you, present yourself 
as a hell-deserving sinner before God: — ac- 
knowledge the goodness of God in the gift of 
his Son, — whether you feel it or not. Rest 
your soul with your sin on the atonement and 
mediation of Christ, and wait for the Holy 
Ghost. Claim the. Spirit. The promise is to 
you. Every thing must yield to his working. 



174 MEMOIRS OF THE 

Do have the Spirit in spite of heU and your- 
self. God is for you: wait, oh wait, my dear 
Brother; God will come. He will make you 
unspeakably happy." 

The following is an extract from a letter to 
Mr. Calder, dated October 22 : — " I was much 
pleased with your letter. God is teaching you 
by his Spirit some important lessons. The 
same lessons are taught in his word^ and have 
been taught by wise and good men ; but we 
want the Spirit: we must have the teaching 
of the Spirit, or after all we shall be foolish. 
I thank God for what he is doing in you and 
by you. Be in the will of God : know that 
you are in it, fiilly, — constantly. Perhaps you 
will have to spend hours on your knees, or 
upon your face before the throne; Never 
mind: wait! God will do great things for you, 
if you will yield to him, and co-operate with 
Him. Oh play the man! Dwell in the clear 
light. I am hoping that God will make you a 
great blessing : but you must be a burning and 
shining light. The fire must come from heaven : 
— ^you have free access. Nelson says to me, 
* Remember, men must be saved first.' Be 
determined not to rest, unless souls get into 
clear liberty. We have a deal to say to them, 
but they must be saved. Oh what numbers 
among us are not clear in pardon! Let us 
agonize to get them into liberty. Maintain 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 175 

simplicity. If you spend several hours in 
prayer daily, you will see great things. I long 
for you. I do not cease to pray for you. You 
and your femily are closely connected with my 
mercies; when I think of therrij I think of 
you; so that as long as I have piety, I shall 
not forget you. I am resting on the atonement 
and intercession of Jesus. God gives himself 
to me. His Spirit is in me. Oh what rest is 
connected with an indwelling God! The 
abominations of the people around me fill me 
with grief. I can only find relief in the mercy 
and power of God, and in the merits of Christ. 
Many of our people are very ignorant of the 
way of faith. When the power of God is 
mightily upon them, they do not lay hold of 
what they want. UntU there be a taking 
hold of God, we cannot expect much signal 
work." 

In the beginning of the year 1822, Mr. Smith 
assisted at the anniversary of the Canterbury 
chapel, of which circuit Mr. Calder was at this 
time superintendent. Among the preachers as- 
sembled on the occasion, much concern was felt 
and expressed on account of Mr. Smith's extra- 
ordinary, and as they could not but too truly 
augur, destructive exertions. It was agreed 
that he should be the subject of serious remon- 
strance, and that his new and interesting ties 
to society, he having recently become a father, 



176 MEMOIRS OF THE 

should form the ground of expostulation* 
His old and valued &iend Mr. Methley, who 
at that time travelled in the Canterbury cir- 
cuit, was to be the spokesman, and he was to 
be followed up by the serious and affectionate 
representations of the rest. While they were 
at supper, Mr. M. opened the business, and 
Mr. Smith laying down his knife and fork, 
listened with the most patient and respectftd 
attention. As soon as the former had ceased, 
he burst into a flood of tears, and literally 
sobbing with grief, at length replied, " What 
you say is all correct: I ought to put restraint 
on myself, but oh, how can I? God has given 
me such a sight of the state of perishing souls, 
that I am broken hearted, and can only vent 
my feelings in the way I do, — entreating them 
to come to God, and pleading with Him to act 
upon and save them." Still weeping as in an 
agony, he continued, " Look round you, my 
brother : do you not see sinners going to hell ? 
and when I thus see and feel it, I am com- 
pelled to act." To this pathetic statement 
there was no reply; all the company were 
melted into tears; and Mr. Methley was so 
deeply affected, that imable to restrain his 
emotions, he abruptly rose from the table and 
left the house. 

During this visit, Mr. Smith was as usual, 
made the instrument of the conversion of a 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 177 

considerable number of persons; and among 
others, of a young lady, the daughter of one of 
our principal friends in a neighbouring town. 
Mr. Calder states that, of all the results of 
Mr. Smith's labours in private which he ever 
witnessed, this was the most interesting. It 
appears that she was very much afraid of 
meeting Mr. S., lest he should address her on 
the subject of personal religion. While he 
was at Mr. Calder's house, however, she was 
prevailed on to call. As she had apprehended, 
he immediately began to converse with her on 
the necessity and desirableness of a present 
salvation, \mtil she was completely subdued. 
For three hours, did the friends present inces- 
santly wrestle with God on her behalf, and at 
the close of that time, her soul was filled with 
peace and joy. She returned to her home a 
new creature, and from that time has walked 
worthy of her Christian profession. 

This however was only an earnest of the 
extraordinary blessing which attended his la- 
bours, during the next few days, which he 
spent in the metropolis and its vicinity. Pre- 
viously to this, God had begim a good work 
in London west, through the instrumentality 
of some pious soldiers, who while stationed at 
Windsor, had obtained the blessing of entire 
sanctification, and had imbibed Mr. Smith's 
spirit, and been taught, his plans. He had 

i5 



178 MEMOIRS OF THE 

viMitcrd them a few weeks befixre, and had seen 
\\\c unn of the Lord gloriously revealed. He 
now witnessed, to use his own words, " the 
f(ri'alr8t work he had ever seen." In the 
courso of a very short time, there were, in- 
rlii(lin>^ tho fruks of his former visit, nearly 
hi*V(M)tY iiulividuals pardoned, and about sixty 
iiituli* proiosaiou of having attained purity of 
lu'nrt. In the same week also, he received a 
IctliT, giving an account of a revival in what 
\H now the London east circuit, of which, 
under (lod, ho had been the first mover. In 
his own circHUt too, several interesting con- 
vrrsions iwourred about the same time. " So 
mightily grew the word of the Lord and pre- 
vailed." 

Mr. Smidi's house was frequently resorted 
to by persons under the awakenings of the 
Holy Spirit, and scarcely a week elapsed, in 
which it was not the scene of devout exulta- 
tion, on account of the liberation of some cap- 
livt* soul. One afternoon, a stranger called in 
(Uh'p distress. Mr. S. invited him to take tea, 
tiiul inquired into the means by which he had 
(H)nie under religious concern. He stated that 

\\\H name was D , that he was a publican 

at llampstead, and that for many years, he had 
given liimself up to the love and practice of 
viee. He never attended any place of worship, 
\va« a gambler, a hard drinker, and in short, a 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 179 

sinner in almost every conceivable way. One 
of his companions in riot, having left his house 
in a state of intoxication, had fallen into a 
river and was drowned. This accident roused 
him to alarm and inquiry, which was increased 
by the discovery, that his own mind was so, 
weakened, probably in consequence of intem- 
perance, that he was unable to keep his 
accoimts. He thought that he was about to 
lose his reason, and while under the influence 
of this distressing apprehension, the enormity 
of his past sins was powerfiilly presented to 
his mind, with the fear of something more 
awful than even madness. In this state, he 
recollected a pious person whom he had formerly 
known ; to him he applied for counsel, and this 
friend brought him down to Windsor, that he 
might receive the benefit of Mr. Smith's direc- 
tion and prayers. Such was the account which 
he gave ofJiimself ; but his distress was so great, 
that before tea was concluded, he was down 
upon the floor; and 'it was a solemn spectacle, 
— to see a lai^e muscular man prostrated by 
extreme anguish, while he groaned and prayed 
in unspeakable disquietude. It happened to be 
the night on which Mr. Smith met a class which 
he had^ formed, to the members of which, after 
the ordinary conversation had concluded, he 
introduced the case of this penitent, and re- 
quested their intercession on his behalf; at the 



183 MEMOIRS OF THE 

the reply. The poor woman for the first time 
opened her mouth in prayer: — *' Lord, give me 
true repentance." She had not long utteted 
this petition, before it was in a measnie an- 
swered, and she came under the gracioa 
influence which was in the meeting. She begw 
to tremble, and with great anxiety inquired, 
'* What shall I do now ? what shall I pray for!** 
•• Ask God to have mercy upon jou" said 
Mr. S. *^ Lord, have mercy upon me, a poor 
sinner,"* cried she, '* a guilty sinner ! " Who 
need be told the sequel i She was that ni^ 
clearly converted, and filled with the love of 
God. — When )Ir. Smith was about to lea?e 
Windsor, she came, with many others, to look 
once more on him who had proved her best 
friend, and so deep was her emotion, that when 
he extended his hand to her, she fell down on 
her knees, filled \vith a gratitude which she 
could not express. Mr. S. was deeply affected, 
and no doubt, that moment amply repaid him 
for all his labours in that circuit. 

The following is an extract from a letter 
written in April, 1822 : — " I should say a good 
deal about the Lord Jesus, if I had not the 
pleasing prospect of seeing you so soon, and of 
talking about him. However he is precious to 
my soul. I rest on him ; and I do not rest on 
him in vain : God is my portion ; all my springs 
are in Him ; they never fiiil. Still I am tardy: 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 183 

a Oh how powerfiilly I ought to be attracted by 

^ihis excellencies! May he quicken me!.... Be 

~ ^determined to make use of Jesus, lay claim to 

Jhis merit, and take for your own. He is God's 

# gift to you and to the world. In the right of 

^1 Jesus, claim the Spirit ; expect to be filled : do 

^ expect and wait. All is yours. Offer yourself 

^^ to God as you are, with all your badness, 

and believe that he takes you through Christ. 

. Do believe : God will bruise Satan imder 

your feet shortly ; and your badness shall yield 

to the working of the Spirit. Oh believe. 

^ The word of God is sure : He cannot lie. — 

^ I hope to see you shortly; to weep with 

you if you weep; to rejoice with you if you 

. rejoice." 

A Yet though for the affictions of his firiends, 
1 Mr. S. had an ever ready sympathy, it was in 
^ behalf of those who had no tears for themselves, 
t that he wept most firequently and bitterly. 
^ " Some,'* says he, in one of his private papers, 
** are so base that they do not weep. Hard- 
ness and hard-heartedness are their character- 
itftics. From them we expect nothing tender 
^ or even good. Some cannot weep ; grief has 
so stunned them; — the fountain of tears is 
walled in. These strike us, and for them we 
w^eep, because they cannot. Some weep for 
mankind and God. This is to be imitated. 
Think it not unmanly to weep. The God-man 



184 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



wept over Jerusalem. Is there not a amae! 
Will it be useless ? ' Put thou mv tears into 

thv bottle: are thev not in thv book?* Hi" 

• • • 

•/rief tells with God.'' Nor was it mevetr ttaj 
misery and peril of sinners which induced 
tears, but principaUy his tender jealousy 
the divine honour. Of God's puiitr and gfaiji'l 
he had an awful and penetrating sense, uti 
that aspect of sin which most deeply aflfectd 
his own mind, was its rebellious and treasoB- 
able character. He felt in respect to it, idHt 
he affirmed primarily of heathen idolatry;^ 
'Mt is a system of rivalrv to God.** Often bam. 
the pulpit and elsewhere, was he accustomed, 
with a voice which almost always fidterel 
when he approached the subject, — ^to exdaim, 
^* God is dishonoured in hu own world.' 
While he cherished a melting pity for sinnen^ 
his nobler feelings stiU made him the advocate 
of the divine perfection, and gave an inde- 
scribable cordiality and intensity to his dbhcff- 
rence of iniquity. In his public services, tf 
well as in the devotional exercises of the social 
circle, it was scarcely possible for a person rf 
discernment to hear him speak of the thieati 
of the law, without perceiving, that his mind 
was deeply impressed with their rectitude and 
fitness. He not only presented perdition to 
the sinner with the hope of rousing him, but 
because he felt with peculiar force, that it was 



REV. JOHK SMITH. 185 

er that an impenitent sinner should be 
Horror seemed sometimes to take hold 
iim, on account of the wrongs which the 
itor sustained from his creatures, and for a 
■ent, his feith appeared to stagger. His 
inrally cheerfiil mind thus acquired an occa- 
ud tinge of melancholy; and one of his 
Dids mentions the community of his feelings, 
1 those of the writings of the prophet Jere- 
h, as being at these times very distinct and 
arkable. 

ibout the Midsummer of 1822, he went into 
High Wycombe circuit to preach some oc- 
Dnal sermons. On the Sunday morning, 
n the congregation was assembled, he had 
arrived at the chapel, and several persons 
3 dispatched in different directions to seek 
After the lapse of a considerable time, he 
found in some solitary place out of doors^ 
etful of all time, wrestling with God in 
hty prayer, for his blessing on the services 
vhich he was about to engage. The result 
r be readily anticipated. Throughout the 
, his mind appeared to be peculiarly im- 
aged with the divine benevolence, and in 
of his sermons, he repeatedly and with ex- 
rdinary vehemence, cried out, " He is will- 
He is willing ! He is willing ! " Many, 
that occasion, had a blessed experience of 
's willingness to save, and numbers of 



186 MEMOIRS OF THE 

others were powerfully awakened to seek at In 
vation. And, as in the foregoing paiagra{)^ 
we have alluded to the first of those 
impressions, which contributed to form 
Smith's character and to render him emin 
useful, we may properly in this place speak 
the second. To employ the statement of iki 
inend, to whom was addressed the letter, ttm 
which our last quotation was an extract^ 
"With these views of the holiness of Afe 
divine character, was combined a convictki^ 
not less absolute and vivid, of the iinspeakaU^ 
compassion of God. Hence, while on the one 
hand, he was jealous in maintaining the rM- 
titude and purity of God, by asserting tk 
exceeding sinfiilness of sin, its guiltiness, ani 
the necessity of humiliation; he was no leB 
earnest on the other/ in insisting on his bound- 
less mercy, and in leaving men burdened wA 
the responsibiUty of their own continued bnr 
penitence. Accordingly, he was displease! 
when persons prayed as if God were unwilling 
to bless : or when they spoke of unbelief as » 
mere infirmity. * It is an abomination,' k 
said, ' when men talk as if they were mare 
willing to bless than God.' Thus he showed 
how the most awftd sense of the divine sanc- 
tity and justice may accompany and grow 
with the deepest conviction of the divine com- 
passion, being radicated in the same common 



RST. JOHN SMITH. 187 

lent. * There is no impediment on God*s 
said he, in his own brief and energetic 
er ; ' He has given us his Son.* By thus 
' asserting the willingness of God to save, 
st all the temptations of unbelief, he 
1 and encouraged himself to plead with 
for sinners. ^ It is by justifying God/ 
lie, ' that I sting and stimulate myself to 
nd.' And again, ^ the necessity of wrest- 
irises not from the unwillingness of God, 
x>ni ourselves or Satan : God is the same.* 
thus his resolute purpose to justify God 
o believe at all events, that there is no 
ranee on his part, nnce He has given 
on, was to him like cutting off retreat ; 
left him no alternative but to wrestle 
►revail. This was the principle which he 

never suffer himself or others to caU in 
Lon. But in following it out, in still 
ously hanging upon it, and pleading it, 
te of every impediment, of all that Satan 

oppose or unbelief suggest ; — this was 
onflict which we saw in him; this was 
agony to believe, which I have heard him 
Lbe as so severe, that it has been *as if 
md body were ready to part asunder.'" 
Lch were the discoveries by which Mr. 
h*s unbending resolution was upheld, in 
rduous labours for the conversion of men : 
e purity and benevolence of God, alike 



188 MEMOIRS OF THE 

infinite ; — sin, in its mali^ty, prevalence, and 
misery; and salvatiouy in its fiilness, fireenea, 
and power; — ^the horrible condition and awM 
peril of the sinner, and the unspeakable ten- 
derness, readiness, and ability of the Savioofi 
Had this been merely an ordinary Christiamtj 
grafted on a naturally determined spirit, it 
would have been subject to fluctuations to 
which he was a stranger ; and this would have 
been equally the case, had he been the crea- 
ture of animal and passionate impulse alone.* 
There are moments when the most powerful 
constitutional determination languishes and 
fails. Weakness of body, mental exercise, strong 
temptation, and other causes succeed in pros- 
trating the most resolute ; and such a reaction 
is often long continued and extreme. Who 

* The friend who has so largely contributed to illuBtntt 
Mr. Smith's character, remarks on this subject, — " I have 
heard a doubt suggested by a clergyman, who highly valued 
his ministry, and who acknowledged himself to have been 
more powerfully affected under his preaching than he had 
ever been under that of any other person, — whether Mr. 
Smith might not, perhaps, depend too much on 'animal 
feeling.* From a thorough observation of the character of 
his mind, aided by all the advantages of daily and unre- 
strained intercourse for several months, I am fully con- 
vinced that he was utterly incapable of it. In his most 
animated moments, — in the full tide and energy of a 
revival, I am confident that he might have replied, 'I 
speak forth the words of truth and soberness,' " 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 189 

has not occasionally seen a mighty mind broken 
down, dissolved as it were, into more than 
infantile weakness ? But Mr. S. was too fiilly 
a Christian and a minister of sound and strong 
principle, to be materially aflFected by the va- 
rieties of circumstances. Others I have known, 
who have had very vivid impressions of the hein- 
ousness of sin, and they have so lived under their 
influence as to have become gloomy and severe ; 
but I never met with a mind so happily ba- 
lanced by these antagonist truths ; so preserved 
on the one hand, in its intensity of feeling, and 
on the other, in its buoyant tenderness of hope. 
There are moments, it is readily admitted, in 
which one or other of his principles predomi- 
nated: generally however these two impres- 
sions were to his mind like the centrifugal and 
centripetal forces in the planetary system, pre- 
serving it in its holy equilibrium, and impelling 
it around its centre, " in glory and in joy," — 
the fountain of benign and kindly influence. 



190 MEMOIRS OF THE 



XL 

FROME. 1822—1825. 

During the three following years, the Frome 
circuit enjoyed the advantage of Mr. Smith's 
ministry, in conjunction first, with that of the 
Rev. James Heaton, and afterwards, of the Rev. 
T. H. Squance. Of the confidence and friend- 
ship of each of these ministers, he possessed 
a large measure, and their kindly feelings he 
most cordially reciprocated. Harmony was in 
their counsels, and success crowned their united 
labours. On the first Sunday evening on 
which Mr. S. preached at Frome, an inter- 
esting young female obtained mercy at the 
prayer meeting. She was the youngest of three 
sisters, all of whom were members of the so- 
ciety; but neither of the others had entered 
into the enjoyment of the divine favour. A 
short time afterwards, the second sister called 
one morning at Mr. Smith's, and according to 
his custom, he inquired whether she had 
received the blessing of pardon. Upon her 
replying in the negative, he proposed prayer, 
and they did not rise from their knees, till 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 191 

she also was able to testify the power of the 
atoning blood ; nor was it long before the eldest 
sister was likewise brought into the same 
happy state of experience. The parents of 
* these young persons were members of the 
society of friends. Upon one occasion of Mr. 
Smith's visiting them, he was invited up stairs 
to see the mother who was very ill. He found 
w her surrounded by her weeping family, and 
!fc^. su&ring under pain so severe that they appre- 
hended her speedy death, unless it were miti- 
gated. After making a few observations, he 
kneeled down and brought the case before the 
t Lord. The answer was immediate. The pain 
*^ entirely left her, and with the return of bodily 
^ ease, came an extraordinary blessing upon her 

f spirit.* 
^ * An answer to prayer of an equally remarkable kind was 
>' granted to Mr. Smith, during the time he was at Brighton. 

Calling one day at the house of Mr. ^ he there found 

an infant, lying on the lap of its distressed mother, and 
writhing in a severe convulsion fit It had frequently been 
affected in a similar way, even from the time of its birth. 
Mr. S. took the child from the mother's arms, and sitting 
down, sang one of his favourite hymns. He then engaged 
in intercession on its behalf. Having arisen from his 
knees, he gave it back to the mother and retired. From 
that time, the affliction ceased; the child became strong, 
and after the lapse of eight years, the grateful mother as- 
sured the relater of this incident, that it had never since had 
a single fit. The same ^ientleman adds from his personal 
knowledge, that the young person for whom this deliverance 



192 MEMOIRS OF THE 

A few cursory extracts from Mr. Smith's 
correspondence during the years 1822 and 
1823, will enable the reader to form some idea 
of the happy results of his efforts.' " Oct. 8.— 
A few weeks ago at . Nunney , we had a blessed 
lovefeast. Nine found peace, and five the 
Tuesday following : seven on the Wednesday; 
one on Monday, and one on Friday. Yester- 
day week at Wamstow, five found peace. 
Last Wednesday night at Kilmington, I think 
ten found peace. A few others in different 
places have^ been saved since we came. I 
believe we shall see a great and glorions 
work:'—'' Feb. 18, 1823.— We admitted on 
trial last quarter, upwards of two hundred 
and seventy. We had about the same num- 
ber of conversions. Many obtained the bless- 
ing of entire sanctification. Since the quarter 
day, we have given nearly a hundred notes 
of admittance, and we have had about the same 
number of conversions. The work is likely to 
go on. The people very generally are getting 
into action. They look for present blessings 
in their meetings. Some of the leaders and 
local preachers are very active and successful 
I have frequently seen eight or ten saved at a 

was wrought out, is now in the bloom of perfect health; 
and he intimates that this was only one of many caaes, in 
which similarly extraordinary effects resulted from Mr. 
Smith's prayers. 



BET. JOHN SMITH. 193 

meeting: I think twenty more than thrice, 
and once at Frome, between thirty and forty. 
This blessed work melts me into grateful love 
to God." — " March 22, I have witnessed many 
signal displays of the power and grace of God 
since I last wrote. At Badcomb in the Shep- 
ton Mallet circuit, about twenty souls found 
peace with God in one night; and a person 
who does not relish a revival in what is called 
a noisy way, says he beheves forty souls were 
awakened. At our lovefeast, upwards of twenty 
found peace. In several of the country places, 
many have been saved. Glory be to God!" 
— ^^ June 26. A short time ago, we had a 
prayer meeting after the missionary meeting 
at Shepton. Nimibers were in deep distress, 
and many found peace with God. I was in- 
formed on Monday* last by a pious young 
gentleman from that place, that the work is 
still going on, and that fifty have been saved 
since the missionary meeting. Several have 
been saved in various parts of our own circuit 
lately. We are trying to keep those whom 
God has given us, and to get more converted. 
It is God's work; it must prosper." — " July 30. 
The work at Shepton has been going on ever 
since. On the 20th I preached there. There 
was much of the power of God among the 
people during the sermon. A special power 
came down in the last prayer. I called on a 



194 MEMOIRS OF THE 

local preacher to pray. Some ran out with all 
speed : some were in great distress : some were 
taken into the vestry apparently senseless. I 
concluded and commenced a prayer meeting, 
and I think nearly thirty souls found peace 
with God."—" Oct. 8. The work of entire 
sanctification is going on in many parts of the 
circuit, particularly in Frame, We have a 
number of private bands, and have b^un to 
meet them on the Saturday evenings. Wc 
anticipate much good from this. God is giving 
stabihty to the work already done. The back^ 
sliders are comparatively few. Some that sus- 
tained loss during the harvest, are stirriB^ 
themselves to take hold of God again. There 
is a blessed spirit of union among the peo- 
ple. Our leaders in Frome are one, and they 
are prepared to hail a continued revivaL I 
have been at Bristol since I wrote last. I 
preached at Easton on a Sabbath evening. 
During the last prayer, a woman cried aloud 
for mercy : others were in distress, and five or 
six found peace. We have had a friend of ours 
from London spending a week with us lately. 
He was one of eleven who were cleansed at one 
meeting in London : ten of the eleven, he teDs 
me, have been made leaders. He went with 
me to several places, and was astonished at the 
work. One evening six persons obtained pun^ 
of heart." 



RSV. JOHN SMITH. 195 

In the course of the year, Mr. S, paid several 
visits to Bath; and in that city^ his labours 
were greatly blessed. On one occasion, at a 
prayer meeting at Walcot chapel, several 
were in distress, and seven or eight obtained 
mercy. On the following evening, Mr. Smith 
preached at King Street chapel. Much divine 
power was present, and upwards of twenty 
penitents received pardon. " The work," says 
he in one of his subsequent letters, *' is going 
on still. At one meeting since, I have hecurd 
that twenty-two found peace." At one of the 
above meetings, there was present a medical 
gentleman, who was a member of another 
religious community. At the conclusion, he 
came to Mr. S., and taking him by the hand 
said, " Well sir, you are a stranger to me, but 
I know your Master. I never witnessed such 
a night as this, but I perceive nothing here 
contrary to the scriptures. I could not leave 
the place without saying this to you and wish- 
ing you God speed!" adding, with other ex- 
pressions of kindness, "and when your lungs 
are worn out, if you will come to me, I may 
perhaps be able to say something which will 
do you good." This instance of cordial and 
cathoHc feeling was very gratifying to Mr. S., 
and connected as it was with an unusual 
order of ministerial labour, seems to deserve 
record in these pages. After the nussionaiy 

K 2 



196 MEMOIRS OF THK 

anniversary also, Mr. Smith with his excellent 
superintendent, conducted a prayer meeting 
in one of the Bath chapels, in which about 
twenty persons were justified, and ten or 
twelve enabled to rejoice in the blessing of 
perfect love. In his own circuit, the success 
of his ministry was not confined to persons of 
moral habits. Not a few of the grossly wicked 
were awakened and saved through his instru- 
mentality; and among others of this class, 
were a considerable number of poachers* The 
Earl of Cork has some game preserves in tlie 
neighbourhood of Frome, and it was remarked, 
by a person who knew the extensive results of 
Mr. Smith's labours, that he was of more ser- 
vice to this nobleman, than all his game- 
keepers. But although the divine blessing 
thus remarkably succeeded his efibrts, his own 
spirit looked higher for satisfaction and hap- 
piness. No outward events could afford him 
greater delight than the salvation of men ; yet 
on one occasion, after expressing his gratitude 
for the good work going on in the circuit and 
neighbourhood, he added, "but God is my 
portion.'' To employ his own phrase, his first 
object was to " obtain more of God ; " his 
second, to "difiuse more of God." God was 
the beginning and ending of his meditations, 
his affections, and his labours : having received, 
he diffiised, and in diiRising he obtained. But 



REV. JOHN* SMITH. 

he never transposed the order of these duties, 
or allowed ministerial efforts to call forth any 
other than an interest subservient to the culti- 
vation of personal holiness. 

In the latter part of the year 1823, liis 
robust health yielded to severe and long con- 
tiAued exertion. For sometime he was wholly 
laid aside, and some of his friends feared tliat 
his lungs were seriously diseased. Dr. Parry 
of Bath however, upon being consulted, gave 
them encouragement to hope that this was not 
the case, and thought that by relaxation and 
rest, he might be fully restored to health. 
This though very necessary, was to Mr. S. 
himself, a great trial. Yet with a strong de- 
sire to return to his beloved employment, his 
mind was kept in peace. In one of his letters 
he says, "I wish to be employed for God. I 
can stand hard labour better than sickness, 
but I want patience to have its perfect work." 
At another time he remarks, " I must rest a 
little longer yet, and proceed with great cau- 
tion. Mr, Squance has acted the part of a 
father to me. Tlie Lord reward him for his 
great kindness and affection." Then recur- 
ring to the ever present subject of hia thoughts 
and concern, he adds, " God is giving stahihty 
to his work in this circuit, and it is spreading a 
little. Eight souls found peace with God I hear, 
1 one of our country places last Stinday week. 



198 MEMOIRS OF THB 

Several have been saved in Erome latefy. 
Many of our people are looking out for signal 
displays of the power and grace of God. Oh 
how ready is God to save ! The gift of fab 
Son unto death, his promise and his oath 
ought to kill every doubt. ' He that believeth 
not hath made God a liar.' I hope I shaU 
credit Gpd more than ever. He is worthy. 
The connexion between man and man is very 
close. God will do astonishing things for otkos 
in answer to our prayers. I want qualifyiag, 
especially as a minister, to take faster hold of 
the people; to be more like Moses, Sammd, 
Daniel, Paul, and the Lord Jesus. I must 
wait in faith, and then." — 

In February 1824, he went into Yorkshire, 
with the hope of being benefited by his 
native air. After spending some time with his 
parents, he paid a visit to his &iend Mr. Nel- 
son, who was then stationed in the Birstal 
circuit. At the band meeting in that place 
which he one evening attended, there were 
several seeking pardon, and he could not resist 
the impulse to labour, and thus risk the little 
strength which he had been two months 
gathering. The following Sunday, he with 
great difficulty persuaded Mr. N. to allow him 
to preach by way of experiment as he said, 
promising at the same time that he would be 
very cautious. For a little while his exertions 



REY. JOHN SMITH. 199 

were moderate; but at length warmed by the 
subject, he forgot his engagement and gave 
way so fully to his generous ardour, that it 
seemed as if he would have fallen in the 
pidpit. Of course, he was not again to be 
trusted. He returned to Cudworth, and find* 
ing that he was there in danger of expending 
his strength as he gathered it, he judged it 
prudent to travel home. He soon after re- 
sumed his labour, and witnessed still greater 
displays of the grace of God than he had 
before seen. The effects of this illness how- 
ever, he never fully recovered; and though his 
exertions in public were still almost imex- 
ampled, yet the prostration of his strength 
immediately consequent upon them, was in 
nearly all instances, more severe and long con- 
tinued than at any previous period. 

Hence arose considerable irregularity in his 
personal habits. Previously to this time, he 
had been an early riser. Often before five 
o'clock in the morning, might have been 
heard the suppressed sounds of his ardent de- 
votion; and this too not unfrequently, when 
it had been nearly the middle of the preceding 
night before he had arrived at home. Such 
was his extraordinary strength, that after a 
few hours sleep, he rose without showing any 
exhaustion from the incessant exertions b£ 
three or four houjrs on the previous 



900 IfEMOIRS OF THE 

It was Mr. Nelson's adyice to him that he 
should always, as &r as possible, carry on 
prayer meetings by the agency of others, con- 
finmg himself to their superintendence and 
direction. This salutary coimsel, he unhappify 
neglected. Often after having preached with 
his accustomed impetuosity, he exercised in 
prayer at various intervals, six times or even 
more frequently on the same evening. Nor 
did his exertions on these occasions resemble 
those of any other person which I ever wit- 
nessed. In him they might with a 'peculiar 
emphasis be termed " wrestling." His was 
literally the agony of intercession. Every 
muscle in his frame appeared to quiver in 
emotion; his arm was raised with a tension 
similar to that of actual contest with a bodily 
adversary; his voice came in bursts which 
could not have been more vehement, had the 
abyss visibly opened at the feet of those for 
whom he interceded; his fiice was bathed in 
tears and perspiration, and in short, his atti- 
tudes, tones, and gestures were those of a man 
making a last desperate effort to tear the 
prey from the jaws of the lion. It was as if he 
had said, " I must succeed now^ or I shall feil 
for ever ; " and indeed to a certain extent, this 
was his real feeling. From the period of 
which we now write, these exertions produced 
great lassitude on the following day. He re- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. SOI 

ired more sleep: when lie rose, he was uiiiit 
for intellectual application ; and it was not till 
nearly the evening, that his system recovered 
any tiling like healthy energy; which was pro- 
bably again to be dissipated in the course of 
a few hoiu"s, by the repetition of sLEnilar labours. 
The results which have actually succeeded, his 
friends long anticipated, and now that their me- 
lancholy forebodings are realized, it is to them 
only matter of surprise that his life was so long 
spared, and his ministry so long continued.* 

• Were any argument required againat late meetings, 
beyond the obvious cousideratiniiB already suggested, it 
might be found impressively presenteil in the history of Mr. 
Smith. My opportunities for observing their effect upon 
him, were numerous and frequent ; and I do nut heaitate to 
give it 89 my deliberate Judgment, that hia exertions in 
them were mainly the cause of hia early and lamented 
death. Several of hb illnesses, — that of which we have juat 
Bpoken for example,— were the immediate conaequencei 
of colds taken by coming out of protracted and heated meet- 
ings at late huura, and by hnving, in a state of profuse 
perspiration, to travel for sevetal miles. What other result 
indeed could have been anticipated? Hia oircumstancea, 
it must be admitted, were sometimea peculiar. Some of 
the meetings in which he was an actor, were of an uncom- 
mon order, evon in the history of revivals. There was so 
much holy influence, auoh strong and marked manifesta- 
tion of divine power, and ao large a number of penitents, 
that it seemed impassible to conclude them at any thing 
like a aeaaonabie hour. His personal exertiona on these 
occasiona also, appeared so particularly honoured of God, 
titM it was a difficult and delicate matter to attempt to m- 



tOZ MEMOIRS or XQK 

In the latter part of the year^ he was agsb 
afflicted. Under the date of Oct* 18, be thw 
writes to his £ither : — '^ You would have hwi 
&om me sooner, had I not been unwelL \ 
have had a touch of a fever which hafi \nsai 
making dreadful ravages in £^ine aiad iti 
neighbourhood. I providentially attend^ tp 
it in time, so that I have had \nk% ^ sH^ 
attack. I think it likely that I took the hv^ 
through visiting some who were very HI ia it* 
I had for a few days much pain in my hetti 
Thank God, it has been to me the best affljk- 
tion with which I was ever visited. It }m 
brought me much nearer to Grod* I was » 
touched with the divine goodness while in an 
agony of pain, that I was constrained to shout 
the high praises of God. We had a blessed 
baptism of the Spirit last night at family 
prayer. We have devoted ourselves afresh to 
God, and He accepts us." 

strain him. But this cannot he affirmed generally even of 
him, nor of the meetings which took place under hia 
immediate direction. Still less can it apply to the ordinary 
agencies and means of revivals. Of systematically or 
regularly protracted meetings, Mr. S. was a decided oppc^ 
nent, and he unhesitatingly pronounced them injurious to 
the work of God. Had his own practice more fiilly cor- 
responded with his recorded opinion on this subject, it is 
highly probable that there would have been much less 
fluctuation in those revivals which took place through his 
instrumentality, and a much smaller reaction afterwaxda. 



i Ueadn^ i^kki Mr. SsthV 
I« daoMvtic life, br m * ht^ 
; tad tW tmtanat 
i religioii exerted s fetfttimt i 
Bat h WW tmeoM 



<tf^^^ 



^'Si«mbers of liis huowhoU axtmmfmiei 

^ U* the thnme of awKV, tk>t tfe pKCr of 

> busband, the blher, ifae- —ilii lad ik 

, wa« pres^lnl in its noit h^vchw 



I privilegie of uiritin^ is AttK > 

nients, can never fof^vt tbe 

lich were then excited. Mr. Sm 

obseirationa on the pcftioo of • 

b reodiog of whidi fiiiiai il a R^gdv part af 

the aagidmr t w KUm t m of the 

d}y nmsic, succeeded by powafc] aid ^ 

^riate praver, coald not &3 to atett « 

I nbd endowed with any meMar e cf r^pM^ 

feeling. After the femih- »w »lty of Ae 

morning, which Sir. S. ottMlljr prebxd I7 

^veral hours of prirMe devotko, he M t l ^ d 

^ the exercises of the riottt, md MOMtnDea 

°ti toB knees, and often cm his &ce, wmtled 

^th God, till Dot nn&equentl^ a cunnderahlp 

part of the floor of his study waa iret with bi> 

*^^». In his unresemed diKlomnts of feeKng 

^ liis friend Mr. Gariaaa, be onee r e iaarfc ed 

^W be was cometjaws ei^i^ed in pmytr fbr 



204 MEMOIRS OP THE 

two or three hours, before he enjoyed that un- 
restricted intercourse with Heaven, which he 
always desired, and whicl) he generally sik- 
ceeded in ohtaining. " Often," says anothn 
of his friends, " when I have gone to bis houae 
with those who were seeking salvation, I have 
interrupted his devotions, in which he would 
be engaged for seven or eight hours at a time." 
He occasionally spent the whole night in 
prayer : sometimes the greater part, if not ths 
whole of several successive nights, and when 
he has heen from home, the members of the 
families by whom he has been entertained, 
have at various hours of the night been awak- 
ened by his groans, — when his desires became 
too big for utterance, and bis emotions too 
mighty to be controLed. Of his pubhc and 
social prayers, perfectly simple and inartificial 
as they were, multitudes have testified that 
the divine influence attending them, exceeded 
any thuig wliich they ever experienced. The 
author of these pages, in common with many 
olliers, has seen persons so affected under 
them, that nature itself has sunk, and they 
liavo heen removed from tlie scene of action 
in a state of insensibility. And these results 
were tis observable when his manner vas 
placid, as when it was peculiarly impassioned. 
Indeed, as some of liis Mends have remarked, 
Uicro were seasons when his physical exertions 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 205 

vrere peculiarly violent, in which there was less 
accompanjring influence, than when he exercised 
more command over himself. 

A similar power appeared to accompany 
his conversations, his reproofs, and sometimes, 
even his looks. A woman in Frome who at- 
tended the chapel, was in the habit of keeping 
her shop open on the Sunday morning. Mr. 
S. several times faithfully warned her of the 
impropriety of her conduct; but though she 
promised amendment, her heart was too Ailly 
wedded to worldly gain, to be persuaded to 
abandon the sin. One Sunday, as Mr. S. was 
going to the chapel, he stopped at her house. 
Leaning over the half opened door, he fixed his 
eyes intently on her as she served her cus- 
tomers, and shaking his head, silently with- 
drew. Had a bolt from heaven fallen at 
her feet, she could scarcely have been more 
affected. The shop was never again opened 
on the Sabbath, and in a short time, she her- 
self, having joined the society, became savingly 
converted. " Truly," says Mr. Clarkson, who 
relates the incident, '' this circumstance may 
remind us of the ineffiible look, which our 
compassionate Redeemer cast upon Peter." 
A sinner within the sphere of Mr. Smith's in- 
fluence, was perpetually exposed to the holj 
compulsion of his expostulations and prayers ; 
and few who were resolved to cleave to their 



206 MEMOIRS OP THB 

sins, ever had the hardihood to endure a second 
interview with him, if it were possible to be 
avoided. — At a prayer meeting in the Frome 
circuit, where several were in distress, he once 
remarked an old man looking on with mud 
surprise. " Well," said Mr. S., ** do you in- 
tend to leave off your sins and be saved to- 
night?" "Why no," replied the other witfc 
great coohiess, "I think I will wait till next 
time." Had this been his real design, Ym 
policy would have been immediately to haie 
left the place. He remained however, and 
presently the hand of God came upon him. 
He cried aloud in anguish and horror, and in 
a short time, the Lord gave him " the garment 
of praise for the spirit of heaviness." About 
twelve months since, he died in peace. — ^The 
followiag incident also, which belongs to the 
same class of facts, deserves insertion here. A 
young lady of Frome who was very ill, ex- 
pressed a strong desire to see Mr. S. Her 
state of weakness however was such, that it 
was with difficulty her friends were prevailed 
on to comply with her wishes. At length he 
was admitted to visit her, and he had the 
happiness of leading her into the enjoyment of 
the peace which passeth all imderstanding. 
For two or three days, she retained the assur- 
ance of her acceptance, and her spirit then 
returned to God. Shortly afterwards, her 



1 S07 ^^^1 

sly disposed, remarked ^^^ 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 

aster who was religiously disposed, remarked 
to a pious female, that slie feared Mr. Smith's 
nut had hastened the death of her ileceaet-d 
telative. The person to whom this observatioa 
WIS made, replied, that il' this was her feeling, 
die would recommend her to go to Mr. S. ami 
express it to him, at the same time offering tu 
lecompauy her. They went ajid found him at 
home. He immediately addressed the young 
Udy on the suhjcct of personal salvation. 
"Your sister," he said, "has gone to heaven; 
ire you preparing to follow her I " She was 
mach aifected, and when he inquired if she 
wi^ed to obtain the present pardon of her 
am, she replied in the affirmative. They then 
vnited in prayer, and before she had tlie oppor- 
tanity of stating the object of her riait, the 
li^t of God's countenance broke upon her soul, 
lod she was filled with unspeakable delight. 
—No persons for whose salvalion Mr. S. was 
fttrticularly interested, could be secure from 
hia efforts. If they even sought the resorts of 
drunkards and harlotJi, it did not at all cut 
them off from his influence. Sometimes when 
he discovered them, he succeeded in leading 
them away; and i have a letter now beibre me, 
which refers to his having in more than one 
instance, kneeled on the floor of a haunt of 
intemperance, till the individual for whom be 
intaceded, obtained the salvatioD of God, in 




806 MEMOIRS OF THE 

the presence of those ^ho had been the com- 
panions of his excess. 

In the beginning of 1835, Mr. Smith sp^ 
a fortnight in London. Here bis labours were 
attended with extraordinary success. In wlurt 
is now the second London west circuit, neailf 
a hundred and twenty persons obtained peace 
with God through his instrumentality, and 
about half that number entered into the enjoy- 
ment of purity of heart. Many of these re- 
ceived salvation at tea parties and other social 
meetings of a similar kind ; and it was one of 
the excellencies of this devoted servant of God, 
that he rendered the parlour a sanctuary, and 
occasions of ordinary intercourse means of graoe. 
In Frome and its neighbourhood, he will long 
be remembered with peculiar delight. One 
of his intimate fidends on that circuit* says, 
•* In every lovefeast that I have attended or 
do now attend, many rise and declare with 
heart-felt gratitude, that Mr. Smith was made 
a blessing to them." 

* Lieut Clark, who with his wife, was converted 
through Mr. Smith's instrumentality. An account of ^ 
experience and happy death of the latter, will be found in 
tiM Wet1e}'an Methodist Magazine for October, 1828. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 909 



XII. 

NOTTINGHAM. 1 825—1826 . 

At the Conference of 1825, Mr. Smith was 
appointed to the Nottingham circuit. His col- 
leagues were the Rev. Messrs. Aver, Hanwell, 
and Parker, men to whom he was strongly 
attached, and with whom he laboured in 
delightful harmony. Among the people, his 
ministry was awaited with great expectation, 
which was strengthened by his first pubUc 
appearance among them, which happened to 
be at the meeting of the bands. A person 
present on that occasion remarks > — " He pro- 
fessed in striking language, what the blessed 
God had done for him ; the deep concern he 
felt for the divine honour, the state of the 
world, and the salvation of souls; after which' 
he engaged in prayer. Never shall I forget 
the impressions made upon me by 
athletic figure, his open and majestic 
nance, his powerM and sonorous voiMJ 
above all, his fervent and mighty prayM 
seemed as if heaven were opened, and Wi0^ 
believed that success was certain.*' 'Oft* 



2210 



MEMOIE8 OF THK 



following Sunday evening, lie preached iri&li 
great power at Hali£uc-place chapcL Bi 
subject was the love of God, and on thulli 
him) most delightful of all topics he 
in '* breatliing thoughts" and ''burning 
" I preach in faith/' he cried in one pait 
his discourse, " God will answer prayer fll 
save souls to-night." About twelve personi 4 
the prayer meeting that evening, professed ti 
receive the blessing of pardon. 

This was an encouraging presage of the giMl 
work which succeeded; for perhaps in M 
place were Mr. Smith's labours attended utt 
more remarkable results. The spirit ini^ikk 
his ministry was at this time condacted, iBtg 
be gathered &om the following &cts. Shacdf 
after his arrival in the circuit, a pious fioori 
remarked to him one morning that he looked 
very unwell. He said in reply that he id 
spent the whole of the preceding day and 
night in ^ting and prayer, and that he wif 
ajssured that God would shortly begin a gloriow 
revival in Nottingham and its neighbourhood. 
Some time afterwards, a few Mends called at 
his house one evening, and found him in a 
state of deep depression of mind. He bad 
been meditating on the condition of the sinners 
in the town and its vicinity, and lamentiiig 
with many tears, their dishonour of God and 
his laws. He invited his friends to join him 



pT^ 



RET. JOHN aiilTH. Sll 

M prayer. One or two engaged in this exer- 
JR, and then Mr. S. himself poured forth his 
ws before the Lord, confessing and be- 
the sins of the people with great 
Lteness and indescribable emotion. His 
lent agony was so extraordinary tliat Mrs. 
ith, accustomed as she was to witness his 
lonsy was at length unable any longer to 
lure the sight, and left the room. His friends 
from their knees, and gazed on Iiim with 
li&hment, mingled with apprehension. One 
them ventured to expostulate with him and 
^ht him to cease. Mr. S. turned to him, 
in a t<»ie of inconsolable grief, exclaimed, 
^60 man, kneel down, and cry and sigh for 
.4e abominations of the people.** For nearly 
■po hours did he continue to call on God with 
m§ utmost strength o£ body and of mind, and it 
mm by sheer exhaustion alone tliat he was at 
iMt induced to desist. These extnujrdinar}' ex- 
Wcises were acoompsnied and followed b\' signs 
^a eoBung renral, and in a short time, '' there 
Us a great TabtT 

I subjoin a few extraite from Lin corre<»poiKi- 
«tte dmsi^ tlie farmer part cf tnc- }X'ar l%s^i, 
vUdi will aenre ia lome dxr-jr^ w c'X.e;;.piifY 
ka suoeess: — ^'Jam. 1;5. A ft^r yi^^,-^:^ *Z^, 
I waa at HktiUfm hi tie inr^fz^ii^, «e u^ a 

mat. ili:-y ^t:*: ir: C-^ip 



SI2 MEMOIRS OF THS 

think eight persons found peace with God. 
The following morning, I learned that there 
were several very unhappy, who had been at 
the preaching on the preceding evening, I 
agreed with a local preacher to go to a laa 
warehouse, where some of them vrere working. 
We went; I made a few observations respect- 
ing the importance of salvation, &rc« Many 
were much affected: we sang, 'Take mjpocr 
heart,' &c. and began to pray. The distressed 
souls cried aloud for mercy. Such anguish 
as some of them were in for more than an 
hour, I have seldom witnessed. After con- 
siderable struggling, six found peace with 
God. May God give stability to hid good 
work! We want more nurses in the church 
of Christ. Last Tuesday evening, I was at 
Draycot in the Derby circuit. We had much 
of tlie power of God among us. Many were 
in distress, and I think about twelve found 
])cace with God. — " April 8. God is blessedly 
moving upon the people in various parts of 
our circuit. More than one hundred and fifty 
were added to the society the last quarter, and 
upwards of two hundred and twenty are on 
trial. In two or three places, the awakening 
inlluenco of God seems to be general. The 
people arc distressed in their houses without 
t\\\y outward means, doubtless in answer to 
prayon At new Basford, the people appear 



EEV. JOHN SMITH. 213 

to be panic struck. Some of the most notori- 
ously wicked characters have been converted 
to God« J gave fourteen notes of admittance 
to persons in one class at that place a few 
weeks ago, all of whom professed to have 
found peace with God. We had a blessed 
time there last Thursday. The glory of God 
filled the place and five obtained mercy. 
M^any souls have been saved there every week 
for some time past. I gave seventeen notes 
at old Radford a short time since : all who 
received professed to have obtained liberty. 
The work is going on. In several places it is 
spring. Hallelujah! At Nottingham souls are 
saved every week. More than a dozen were 
saved after Mr. Dawson had preached a few 
weeks ago: and six found peace with God on 
the morning of the same day m a private 
house. I have seen some signal work also in the 
Mansfield and Ilkeston circuits." — ^^ June 29. 
Although our increase of members has not 
been very great — two hundred — ^we have four 
hundred and forty-seven on trial. In. some 
places, the work astonishes the old members; 
they never saw any thing equal to it. Num- 
bers have trusted God for a full salvation, and 
many more are panting for it. It is the good 
pleasure of the good God to save — ^to save 
fully. How important it is to hold this truth 
fest through every thing!" — *^ Jidy 12* MaQ|^. 



214 MEMOIRS OF THfi 

backsliders are returning to the Lord, and tk 
cleansing work is going on. Liast Sundqf 
night at Carlton, upwards of twenty I {biA 
either found peace with God or obtained I 
clean heart. We had a still greater night oi{ 
Monday at HaUfax chapel, and last night M 
New Sneinton, many souls were saved. Gtaj 
be to God ! I have not time to enter into 9SJ 
particulars." 

It is of course impossible to trace the good 
which was effected primarily through Mr. 
Smith's instrumentaUty, as it extended and stfll 
extends m numerous ramifications. Many iiy 
stances there are, in which whole families were 
brought to the knowledge of the truth, in con- 
sequence of the influence, which in the fint 
place, he had exerted upon individual memben 
of them. The following case is too remarkaUe 
to be omitted. A young man left his home and 
his friends in Derbyshire, in rather a discredit- 
able manner, and came to reside at Nottingham, 
a little after Mr. Smith's appointment to that 
circuit. A pious female, one of our tract dis- 
tributors, had occasion to call at the house 
where he lodged, during the time of Notting- 
ham feir. With her he was very jocose, and 
pressed her to go with him to the feir. She 
agreed, provided he would first accompany 
her to the chapel. Having gained his consent, 
she took him to hear Mr. Smith. During the 



EST. JOHN SMITH. S15 

sermon, he was deeply convinced of sin, and 
fit the prayer meeting which followed, he 
'obtained peace with God. He soon after re- 
turned home, and surprised all his &mily by 
his seriousness and consistently pious deport- 
ment. One day his mother, with an appear- 
ance of much concern, asked him how it was 
that he was so constantly happy. He told her 
his experience, and assured her that God was 
"grilling to make it equally hers. Upon this, 
they betook themselves to the throne of grace, 
and mingled their prayers and tears, till the God 
of all consolation revealed himself in her heart, 
and mother and son rejoiced together in im- 
speakable joy. Some time afterwards, her 
other son was married. The young man be- 
sought the Lord to grant that on the day of 
the wedding, one soul might be saved ; and 
though up to the very morning, there was no 
appearance of any answer to his prayer, he felt 
a^ured that his request would be granted. 
Upon the return of the bridal party from 
church, he retired to renew his suit before the 
Lord. He then came back to the company, 
and solemnly called upon them to join him in 
prayer. They did so, and before they rose 
from their knees, the bride was awakened and 
clearly converted. The youth once more with- 
drew, and confessed and bewailed his sin in 
only asking for one soul, as he was convinced 



216 MEMOIRS OF THIS 

that God was far more desirous to save the 
whole than he could be. As he came down 
&om his devotions, he heard a noise in one of 
the chambers, and upon entering, found bis 
brother in deep distress, crying to Grod for the 
pardon of his sins. In a little while, he abo 
was filled with peace in believing. Shordy 
after, two musicians, who had been hired to 
contribute to the hilarity of the party, came 
in. The bridegroom, in the fulness of his joy, 
told them that they were not wanted: **We 
have other music," he said, and invited them 
to unite in it. Again they had recourse to 
prayer, and once more the Saviour answered. 
Before they had ceased their intercession, one 
of the musicians was convinced of his sins and 
brought into the enjoyment of the favour of 
God. The melody of renewed hearts celebrated 
their espousals to Christ on that happy day, 
and the burden of their chorus might well be 
supposed to have been, " Unto him that loved 
us, and washed us from our sins in his own 
blood; unto him be glory and dominion for 
ever and ever. Amen." 

The strength of Mr. Smith's faith was pro- 
bably never more fully displayed, than in 
behalf of dying sinners. The condition of 
many of these is such, as to extinguish all 
hope in the mind of an ordinary Christian; 
but I never heard of a case which he looked 



■RBT. JOHS flMTTH. S17 

upon as hopeless; and what discouraged others 
appeared only to ^ve to him an addltionai 
stimulus. The following is an example. He 
was called to visit an aged woman, who was 
dying in the most miserahle circumstances. 
Her heart seemed shut up in despair, and she 
espressed lierself as having made up her ntind 
to he damned ! Mr. S. spent several hours 
with her, exliortiiig, praying, and reading ap- 
propriate portions of scripture. She repeatedly 
begged liini to desist, assuring him that his 
efforts were of no sort of use ; but every rebuff 
seemed only to increase his zeal for her salva- 
tion. At length she confessed that for many 
yeai's she had bficn a backslider : she added 
that she had sinned away her day of grace, 
and her salvation was utterly imposaible. He 
now renewed his exertions : his faith appeared 
to gather fresh strength, and he wrestled yet 
more mightily with God in lier behalL He 
considered the infinity of the merit of Christ, 
that his atonement was available even for her 
aggravated guilt, that the Holy Spirit was 
purchased by the blood oi' the Saviour, that a 
sufficient measure of liis influence might be 
exerted upon her to meet her case, and that 
this influence might be obtained by beUeving 
prayer. He persevered therefore in the con- 
test of faith with despair, and at last the dying 
siiuiei beg^i to yield — to relent — to weep — to 



218 HEBIOIR8 OF TBI 

hope that it was yet possible that she mig^t be 
saved before the eleventh hour expune<L Shortly 
afterwards, she ventured to cast her soul on 
Christ, and the H0I7 Spirit witnessed inher heart 
that God had accepted her. She was filled with 
gladness and thanksgiving, and having paraised 
the grace of Christ for a few hours on earthy 
went to join the remembered thief in Paradise. 
Many other similar examples of the iin£i9- 
ing character of Mr. Smith's fidth might he 
quoted. I have before me an account of his 
successful labours in behalf of a male&ctor of 
the name of Wood, who was executed at Not- 
tingham for murder. This person had some 
pious Mends, by whom he was recommended 
to Mr. Smith's attentions. The afbemoon be- 
fore he suffered, Mr. S. was with him fiir 
some time, and then engaged to return and 
spend the night in the condemned celL It 
was with ccmsiderable difficulty, and only at 
Wood's earnest wish, that he obtained admis- 
sion. He then assiduously set himself to 
declare to the unhappy man the evU of his 
sins, and had the satisfaction of bringing him 
through the agency of the blessed Spirit, into 
a state of deep and sincere penit^ice. Next 
he pointed him to Christ. Much time was 
employed in calling on God, and at length the 
divine mercy beamed into the darkness of his 
dungeon, and the still more dense darkness ol 



RST. JOSH flMrm. 



»1S 



bis heart, and he t«stilied that all his sins were 
taken away. In the morning, Mr. S. accom- 
fianied him to tlie place of execution, and at 
his particular and repeated request, commended 
him by earnest prayer to the grace of that 
God into whose presence he waa ushered n 
few moments afterwards. The popidar feeling 
against Wood was unusually strong, and many 
■were very sceptical as to his repentance. Mr, 
S. himself however had no doubt of his ac- 
ceptance at the last hour; and the error — if it 
were an error — was amiable and characteristic. 

Li the course of the year, a pretty little 
chapel was built at new Basford ; and there 
were several events connected with the work 
of God in that place, sufficiently striking; tfi 
demand insertion In these pages. The first 
exhibits faith residting from eflbrt. Mr. Smith 
called on a person who had been a Socinian. 
After some eonveraation, he complained that 
he was imable to believe the doctrine of the 
divinity of otir blessed Saviour. It was one 
of those cases, with which every minister is 
fiuniljar, where argument woiJd have availed 
notliing. " We will pray about it," said Mr. 
S., " and if you will only try to believe, I will 
forfeit my head if God does not give you the 
power." The result answered Ids anticipa- 
tions. The man became there and then a true 
bdaoec, snd forthwith united himself to the 
1.2 



2S0 MEMOIRS OF THE 

society. — The foUowing illustrates the sound- 
ness and deamess of Mr. Smith's practical 
counsels. Mrs. M. had the happiness of see- 
ing all her children except one, canverted to 
God. He was the subject of many prayen 
and admonitions; but he persevered in hk 
sinsy seldom attended any place of worshqi, 
and assiduously avoided meeting ydth Hr. 
Smithy of whose £uthful expostulations he was 
greatly afraid. The distressed mother pro- 
posed the case to Mr. S. and requested lus 
advice. "Lay your hand on one .thing at 
once/' was his reply ; meaning that she should 
define to her own mind a distinct object <tf 
.petition, and not cease till her prayer was 
answered.* She did so, specially in reference 
to her ungodly son, and a short time afterwards 

* Mr. M'Dermott of London, Mr. Smith's most intimate 
friend, relates an instance, in which Mr. S. gave, with re- 
markable good effect, advice similar to the above. It was 
during a visit which he paid to the metropolis, while he 
was stationed at Windsor, alluded to page 177. He had 
attended a prayer meeting, where many had been pardoned 
and purified. On the following day, which was Sunday, he 
had engaged to preach several times: however a htde 
before the previous midnight, he set out to assist at a 
watch night " It was," to use Mr. M' D's. own words, 
"an overwhelming time." At first, nothing was done: 
the hearts of the people seemed hard, and prayer was 
accompanied with little power. Mr. S. himself prayed 
after almost every one who engaged. Now and then, he 
gave a short exhortation, showed the way of fidth and uxged 



RET. JOHN SMITH. 



returning' from the chapel, wiiere Mr. S. 
had been preacliiiig on the subject of prayer, 
she said to the young man, " Now I believe 
that the Lord will have mercy upon thee, for 
He has heard my prayer on thy behalf." The 
impression which these words produced was 
indelible. In about a fortnight afterwards, he 
was brought into the enjoyment of true religion, 
and is now an active leader and local preacher. 
— I add a singular instance of the result of 
Mr. Smith's intercession. He was one evening 
preaching at new Basford, and a. very holy 
influence rested on the people. In the con- 
gregation was a woman who had recently 
b^un to seek the Lord, whose husband was 
proverbial for wickedness. During the ser- 
mon, tliis man came to the door of the chapel 
and in a tiirious tone exclaimed, " Is Mary C. 
here?" adding that if she did not come out, he 

the praj'ing men to believe for tlie people. Piirticularly 
he called on i!ie congregation to wait solemnly before God 
and to npply to the throne of grace " for aomelhing definite, 
— to delermine in their own minds what blessing they 
wanted, and then plainly and peneveriiigly to come to God 
for it" Several hoiiia elapsed before the happy results of 
this counsel were apparent. .4t length, betweDU two and 
three o'clock, the Lord whom tliey sought, suddenly came 
tu hie temple. OiiP person was then cleansed from sin ; 
live minutes after, four others; then two more, and so the 
work proceeded. Sii of these persons were subsequently 
made leader*. 





SSS MBHtOIBS or THE 

would break lier legs. Mr. S. stopped in his 
discourse aiid cried, " Lord, lay thy hand on 
that man; put thy hook in his nose, and thy 
bridle in bis mouth," &c, and then proceeded. 
A prayer meeting as usual followed, and be- 
fore it was concluded, the man returned to the 
chapeL But he was now a diiTerent character. 
He came to teU the pooplo that God had for- 
given all his sins. It appeared that when at 
the conclusion of the iirst service, his wife 
returned home, accompanied by a pious female; 
they found that in the interval, God had pow- 
erfully wrought on him, and he now gladly 
joined them in prayer for pardon. Some per- 
sons were sent for to pray with him, and in a 
short time, the Lord answered and poured out 
upon him the regenerating and adopting Spirit. 
When he thus publicly declared the la&ecy of 
God to bim, incredulity sat on almost every 
countenance, nor could the people be persuaded 
" that he was a disciple," till his Christian 
deportment manifested the greatness of the 
change which had been effected in him. — Much 
fruit of Mr. Smith's labours in new Ba^rd 
stiD remains. Some of his spiritual children 
have left the place, and others have preceded 
him to a better world ; but after all deduc- 
tions, I am informed that there are now thirty 
persons living in the viUa^, Avho were coo- 
verted through his immediate instrumentali^. 



RBV. JOHN SMITH. 



. I conclude this section with the relation of 
another characteristic incident, which occurred 
in the early part of Mr. Smith's residence 
at Nottingham. While on one occasion, he 
was preaching at a village in the circuit, thf 
whole audience appeared to he moved, and 
cries and groans resounded from every part of 
the chapeL The extraordinary scene which 
followed at the prayer meeting, attracted a 
considerable number of careless or scoffing 
spectators, who crowded in at the door, pro- 
ducing much confusion by their behaviour, 
and arresting tlie progress of the work of God 
by their unhallowed spirit. Mr. S. went to 
them and begged thera to kneel down with 
the rest of the congregation, and to join in the 
worship. To tliia request they paid no atten- 
tion. He then fell on hia knees before them, 
and witli remarkable earnestness, renewed hii> 
entreaties. Finding however that they were 
unmoved, he rose ; and stretching out his arms, 
drove them all out of the place, at the same 
time declaring with strong emphasis, that he 
would not suffer God to be insulted in his own 
house, The Lord then wrought a great deUver- 
ance. Fifteen persons were that evening en- 
abled to trust in Christ for pardon, the greater 
part of whom still adorn their Christian pro- 
fession in the same village. 



S34 MEMOIRS OF THB 



XIII. 

NOTTINGHAM— BEESTON. 1 826—1 829. 

In thef year 1826, it was my happiness to be 
appointed to the Nottingham circuit, and here 
I became intimately acquainted with the sub- 
ject of these memoirs. It will not therefofe, 
I trust, be offensive to my readers, if without 
circumlocution, I lay before them the results 
of my personal observations on his character. 
I do this with the less hesitation, as after the 
lapse of several years, and with the maturest 
judgment which I am capable of exercising, I 
see no reason to alter, or even materially to 
modify the opinions which at that time I 
formed. And here, in the first place, I can- 
didly acknowledge that my prepossessions 
were decidedly unfavourable to the discern- 
ment and admission of Mr. Smith's excellence. 
I had heard of him as a zealous, though sin- 
gular minister : in a degree I had been informed 
of his success, and I had learned that this was 
to be attributed principally, if not wholly, to 
his personal piety, and the power of his prayer. 
Tlie shadows of the picture I had myself 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 



SSli 



supplied, from the characters of others whom i 
supposed to resemble him; and with a waul 
of liberality, in which I fear I was not ain- 
gular, 1 had invested him with qualities which 
went far to neutralize Uie chann of his acknow- 
ledged wtues. lu this state of feeling, I met 
him for tlie fii'st time, and I liad scai-cely been 
five minutes in liis company, before I was 
afihamed and humbled on account of my pre- 
judices: — his amiableneas at once commanded 
affectionate respect. I use the term ainiable- 
ness, because, though it is somewhat vague, it 
is the only expression which includes the ideas 
of his character, whicli immediately presented 
themselves to my mind. Of his native (juali- 
ties which may be comprehended mider this 
phrase, the preceding pages have given tlie 
reader a cursory view. I therefore in this 

;e, allude principally to particulars which 
not before been expressly noticed, 
soon discovered the infinite spiritual dis- 

ity wliich existed between us: but his 
religion was of an order which conveyed no 
sort of discouragement to tliose who contem- 
plated it. It was neither mystical on the one 
hand, nor exclusive and repelluig on the other. 
There was about it no spiritual empiricism, if 
I may so express myself. No one who per- 
ceived — what it was all but impossible to 
ovexlook— the power of his faitli, could Jbr ^ 



£06 MKllOtBft OF THE 

moment heatate to admits diat it was perfecd^ 
adequate to the prodnctioii even of Aia laatii- 
ri^ of CSuistiamtf . The eminenoe of Ui 
virtue tbeielbie exerted m stimxilatiiig iola- 
ence on tliose wlio came vrithin its xaacL 
His experience sappUed the most M*i»fiy t M j 
reply to the popular otgection iq^ainst l3be 
doctrine of entire fumcrifiralimi, that hy settaig 
the standard of Qiristian perCectian so ho^ 
we necessarily discourage Quiatians tpmat seek- 
ing to attain it. It was Mt once perceived, 
that to the simplicily of his fiuth, no ^iritad 
blessing was difficult or remote, and no one 
could discern the naitnre of that fidth, widiost 
being convinced that it was in its gradations, 
readily attainable by ereiy sinc»« and child- 
like spirit. And this I cannot but consider a 
principal cause of Mr. Smidi's success, as a 
preacher of the great doctrine to which I have 
just alluded. Hence also, he himself sou^ 
out tbe most perfect models c^ Christian ex- 
peri^ice, with the rejoicing consciousness that 
what one believer has succeeded in obtain- 
ing, was equally within his reach. "When I 
read Fletcher's life," said he, " I saw a nar- 
row way ; not that I had not chosen a narrow 
way, but I saw one still narrower." AtiiI 
thus he not only recommended to others a 
high degree of ChristiaQ holiness, but likewise 
nrooii the best methods of attaining it. " Get 



RET. JOHN SUTTH. 3S7 

signally blessed," was one of his coiiimuii 
advices. At a lovefeast which he conducted 
in the neighbourhood of Nottdjigham, several 
perswia spoke of their trials doing them good, 
by driving them to prayer. At the close, Mr. 
S. made some striking remarks on what had 
been said. He thanked God on belialf ai' 
those whose afflictions had been so beneficial 
to them. "But," said he, "there is a more 
excellent way: that state of mind is to be 
attained, in which a man shall not need to 
be whipped to his knees, but shall go to his 
dutyi attracted by the delight wliich he feclK 
in it." He then exhorted all to seek this hap- 
piness, at the saine time asituring them, that 
he himself enjoyed it. 

And while his views of the omnipotence of 
f^th gave to his own experience, the aspect 
of simplicity and ready attainableneas, they 
also supphed a suigular unity to his theology. 
Hence his profound and pauiful discoveries of 
the depravity of the sinner, were combined 
with the most lively and practical perceptions 
of the high vocation of the saint. The sinner 
and the saint, in some schools of tlieology, are 
two isolated characters; and generally it is 
impoasihlc to perceive with any degree of 
clearness, how one individual can at difierent 
periods of his life, sustain them both. The 
uapression on the mind of a partially instructed 



i>38 MBMOIRS OF THE 

reader, after rising from the perusal of some 
popular evangelical treatises, is of a fearful 
and insurmountable distinctness, between man 
in his natural condition and the elevated privi- 
leges of the New Testament. Heaven and earth 
could not have been more remote, before the 
promise of a Mediator beamed from the one, 
to enlighten the despair of the other. But 
Mr. Smith's faith — boundless, untiring, unde- 
laying, — ^perpetually grasping a present pro- 
mise in its illimitable breadth, — ^brought the 
deepest depravity into contact with the fulness 
of evangelical purity, and seemed continuaUy 
to cry, " The word is nigh thee, even in thy 
mouth and in thy heart." 

His extraordinary humility gave a peculiar 
charm to all the other graces of his character, 
and not un&equently assumed a most afiecting 
prominence. During the time he was at 
Windsor, he had a rather severe illness, and 
with deep emotion he directed, that should it 
terminate fatally, his coffin should have no 
inscription but 

"Unfaithful John Smith." 
There was in his mind, to use a happy phrase 
of one of his Mends, "a springing forth to 
meet instruction ;" and with it was combined 
a prompt and extensive sjonpathy for the 
in&nities, and even unbelief of others. At a 
nonionary meeting I recollect, one of the 



RT.V. JOHN SMITH. 



speakers, after having doscaiited upon 
mass of corrupdoii and the total alieiiatioi> 1 
from God which exists in the world, remarked) I 
that sometimes when his own mind had beeil % 
deeply and painftilly impressed with thcsfti 
facts, he had for a moment doubted whether 1 
it were possible for the world to be converted^ i 
Mr. S. wlio was seated immediately behind I 
him, instantly replied lond enough for several' I 
on the platform to hoar, "Yes, and so have 1 J 
too." The man remembered the feelings rf'^ 
the child, and ttcidt accordingly with thoaej 
who in a peculiar degree, still "saw 
and prophesied in part." It is here proper t 
notice also his remarkable liberality, especiall; 
ill reference to different schools of miniateraw J 
On the subject of his own duty, he never had' 1 
the slightest hesitation : and he sometimet-^ 
expressed himself vnih a tone of determination, ' 
amounting almost to severity, when any one ] 
questioned the correctness of his principles, 1 
as they respected himself. These were tixod; 1 
and the law of gravitation in the natural world 1 
might as easily have been annulled, as hn ] 
mind have been turned aside from the ( 
to wliicli lie had bound himself, " Sir, 
are in error," said he with cahn decision, to i 
person of high respectability, who once in his 
presence attacked one of his principles. The 
otiier was considerably irritated, and in a tone 



ao 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



dch was intended to repress all further 
cussion, replied, " I wiU not be told thatl 

in error bv jou sir, and before this 

- Then sir,- said Mr. S. "you must not 
such assertions when I am present" 
cuiei resolution with which this was 
ii'senced his antagonist, and the convc. 
t-x>k ai^oiher direction. But with this « 
sk« vn&s united the most noble admission of 
^rxceilciioies a£ those whose style of 
TPn%> t.^TAlly different fiom that which he 
.*u:i:rs:ed- He never made his own codM 
« m'.o :tv that of others. " He was aW 
sjiA^ cae of his intimate fiiends, " of the difff- 
s-iiy o:' minds, as well as of gifts, which 'tb 
sduno Spirit has divided to ereiy man sevenDf 
AS V.i^ ^^t/*:' and never did I know coDSoet 
13.m:s striitness combined with more liberalitf 
.^:* ihininnsr."— He deeply regretted, it is trw^ 
that hL< own strong and semceable views d 
divine truth were not generally icoeived, esfe- 
oiallv among the more intellectual agents of tke 
ohuirh; but wherever he saw a sincere desire 
to ik> giwd, he hailed it with unequivocal de- 
ittiuv^trations of pleasure. He often lemaibd 
liuiT the man who took pains to mend the wodd 
had his hearty thanks. In short, I may veih 
luix^ to affirm that there never was an incfr 
vklual whose character was more diametrically 
i^imiXe from that of the sour censorious sealot 



REV. JOHK BMITH. 

l^pJBf the tenderness of his spirit, mentioii has 
*" iidy been made ; and this rendered him a 
irly welcome visitant to the chamber erf 
I remember accompanying liim to 
! of om- leaders in Nottingham, a poor 
t ipious man, who was neax his end. Wlien 
pwrired at his house, he was in the article 
leath. His eyes were glazed, and there 
in his tliroat that a^vful sound wliich 
mces tlie immediate and inevitable ap- 
\ of the king of terrors. We stood for 
i gazing, in stillaess but not in sad- 
I on the solemn ^»ectaclc. I looked on 
JKjr de^ &icnd: the tears were cbasiiig each 
^aCber over his face ; bis chest was heaving, and 
dbe whole of his athletic frame was agitated by 
'irrepressible emotion. At length he broke the 
;|flence, and in a tremulous voice repeated, with 
j( pathos and freshness with which I could 
scarcely have conceived it possible to have in- 

fid so hackneyed a passage, — 
rhe chamber where the good man meets his fale, 
b privileged beyond the common walk 
Of virtucpua lift, — quite in the verge of heaven : " 
truly it was so at that hour, as we succes- 
sively coTnmended the soul of the departing 
saint to the hands of God. And tliis suscep- 
tibility, Mr. S. preserved at all times to a 
renarkable degree. No sort of personal grati- 
1 seined to have the power to a&Bt "»i 



44 



!^^ 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



his heart in seliishness, or even at aU^£ 
off the seiisitivenesa of his feelings. Wal^ 
for example one day in the streets of Lol 
with his Iriend Mr. M'Dermott, the cc 
sation took some turn which he higb^iCii 
Jn the iiiidst uf his full flow of pleii«t> 
casually turned his head, and saw sloii 
iug along, a young luau who appeared ; 
tlie last stage of a consumption. Tl 
instantly forsook Iiis face, and he bur- 
Hood of tears. 

It is difficult to determine, whe). 
Smith's energy or amiableiiess were 
striidiig. Perhaps the fonner geuci^ 
pressed those who knew !iim, only i 
pally as a public man; the latter, 
were more fully admitted mto hi» ^ 
friendship. It certainly 
qualities to be so remarkably combii> 
individual. Men of strong resolulio' 
dependence, often seem alone in t 
bending all others to their wiU, but 
their wills to none ; cut off from | 
of manldnd, and wrapped up i 
and their own power. Several. { 
besides his natural constitutkw 
to render Mr. S. s 
tirst and most : 
tender tone of t 



1 



■d to in- 

ii in the 

-■ or wants 

r siiitablc 

Were 

au im- 

s of this 

1 urred at the 

>'-'achers in tbe 

\ direct inquiry 

die bride was 

' uti earnest and 

method of saving 

■ ■ [iresent to unite 

'I bour, the;' im- 

' o. till that same 

I'T days, 



mtonce wwe t 
kingdom. 
"fore, anothfli*] 
• broi^t i 
'lur, throi^^ 

of Ills piety J 
oed, there wem , 
y struck J 

insight 
js subject, ] 



S3i 



difficult to himself, or harsh and startlJ!^, 
those who enjoyed his society. In this resji 
his character was marked by a perfect hanni 
He was 

" A creature, not loo bright or good 
For human nature's daily food : — 
And yet a spirit still, and bright, 
With flometliing of an angel light." — 

F There was connected with him, none of 

painful feeling of incongruity, which il 

■ often forced upon the mind, from the va^ 

IB the behaviour of ordinary religious pi 

8ors. He was perceived to be one ani 

same cleyated Christian, whether in the s 

of chastened cheerfiilness, or in the mel 

of weeping solemnity: — just as the spM 

^discerns the identity of a majestic oak o 

n'feundred years, whether its fohi^e be si 

p'tiy the breezes of a spring morning, t 

I^Blotionless in the softness of summer twilij 

Mr. S. seldom refused an invitation to 

p party or any social meeting of a similar 

f He was of the opinion of a great maa, 

"parlour preaching" was a very imp< 

tp&rt of the duty of a minister. Many 

Fthf seals to liis labours in this deparbne 

^Christian exertion, some of whom have al 

; down with Ahraliam and Isaac and < 

tile kingdom of God. His usual a 

I, first to give out a verse <rf a hji 




BFV. JOHN' SMITH. S>'^ 



Wge in prayer. Then he proceeded to in- 
He bto the spiritual state of each in the 
NO; and in general, the experience or wants 
one or more, supplied subjects for suitable 
ice and for subsequent intercesaion. Were 
»t afraid of swelling this work to an im- 
per size, I might relate niiuiy cases of this 
1. One will suffice. It occurred at the 
riage of one of our local preachers in the 
tingham circuit. Having by direct inquiry 
TtaJned that the sister of the bride w«a 
dng the Lord, Mr. S. in an earnest and 
nse way pointed out God's method of saTtag 
imer, and then called on all present to unite 
wayer. For more than an hour, they im- 
tuned the throne of grace, till Uiat same 
iour appeared, who in other days, 
'' Did not reflise a gueit to be 
Al Cana's poor festivity ; " — 
the bitter waters of penitence were ex- 
iged for the wine of the kingdom. In 
same house, a few weeks before, another 
jber of the family had been brought into 
enjoyment of the divine favour, tlirough 
Smith's instrumentality. 
1 addition to those features of his piety 
■h have been already noticed, there were 
others which particidarly struck me. The 
was his luminous insight into the in- 
ile world. On tliis subject, it is not for 



mmgmSm 




t in po g rg « in pnhGc^ 
^miM aevenBj mi wMxesdnij of ths i 
aema m de GsAcad, sad a^Dowtedgmesd 
the f gapcf Aranty of wA Norwastliui 
f if* of AtfinctiaB confiBed to ilie exordiul 
ibfp* ai kli g M M, Other puaages to hti pnQ 
wriv addressed to the Saviour and thr Sp 
as n^ as to the Father ; and to Uicse, no < 
vrho bad spiritual ears could liste 





I one of thed 
indi deep i 
o the Fuller ^ ike Sot ^ Ae Hd^ 

, he lifted h op 1 — aid* bei«c«, m f^ 

( woaU extead, aad widi a 
B presented it to the Holr Thaily. TW 

sioD upon the croirded eoogtv^atka ca^- 
" ^«d. 

i panicular of whidi I [ 
, was the ttjfU of ^£r. Smitfa'a den*- 
I cannot but ascribe the eiSetrt of bia 
public and social prayers partlv to their — 
shall I say ? — logical unity and connexion. 
This was remarkable, and well worthy of ini)t&- 
tioii. He hist laid down certain premises is 




S38 MEMOIRS OF THE 

the mo6t simple and perspicuous maimer. Foaf 
example, he would acknowledge the pnri^ 
and justice of God; and when the minds d 
the people had accompanied him thns fitr, lie 
proceeded with many tears to oon&st aod 
bewail their impurity, their ingratitude tad 
rebellion. Then turning to the divine oaa^ 
passion, he would, to use his own phxase^ 
^^ fasten on the truth of God," and plead soae 
particular and apposite promise* Thus would 
he carry to the throne, the penitence and fiddi 
of a thousand hearts, tiU the answer descended 
like a mighty wind, and the priest kinudf 
could scarcely stand to minister for the gloiy 
cf the Lord. But in all this, there w^as a pe^ 
feet coherence, without any thing of rhi^io^ 
or rant. His prayers were specimens of les- 
soning which his congregation could undap- 
stand and feel; and when their judgments were 
convinced, it was scarcely possible £ar then 
to resi^ the power of the ardent and y^ement 
pleading which succeeded. 

Mr. Smith's reverence for the Lord's forayer 
was very great; and in the use of it, he was 
always impressive, sometimes extraordinanfy 
so. One occasion in which this was the ease, 
will long be remembered by many who weie 
present. It was at a lovefeajBt m Nottingham. 
He had prayed with unusual power, aaoA wiien 
he proceeded to repeat the Lord's p»yer, tfce 




KIT. JOBN SMITH. 

effect was beyond cMDiiception. Multitudes 
responded with peculiar fervour to each peti- 
tion as it was pronounced, till he came to the 
doxologj', at each clause of which, he raised 
bis voice, ajid ascribed to the Almighty " the 
kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for 
ever and ever," in a tone and with an unctioQ 
which fell on the congregation with irresist- 
ible force. A glow of heavenly feeling per- 
vaded the whole assembly ; many gave vent to 
their emotions by bursts of tears, and some in 
irrepressible shouts of praise. Others laid 
hold of the sacred words, repeating them again 
and again even after he had ceased, and whis- 
pers of" for e\-er and ever," mingled with sobs, 
passed from one lip to another, till it appeared 
as if they had been a spell, frooi which escape 
WHS impossible. In fact, it was some tune 
b^bre the regular business of the meeting 
could be resumed. 

Another feature of Mr. Smitli's character, 
which I was not prepared to expect, was the 
vigour of his understanding. I do not mean 
to say, that he was, as the phrase is commonly 
understood, — an intellectual man, but the cali- 
bre of his nund was considerable, and his 
judgment remarkably sound. And here I can- 
not do better than avail myself of the state- 
ments of that friend of Mr. S., whose remarks 
Itave already so much contributed to the illus- 



240 MEMOIRS OF THE 

tration of his character. '^ As one instance of 
the soundness of his judgment,** this gentle- 
man observes, " I might cite the high esteem 
in which he held the character of Cecil, and 
the value he set upon his ^ Remains' : a worl 
[which he frequently quoted, which exerted 
no inconsiderable influence in modelling his 
character, and] which is distinguished as 
much by its sober and solid cast of thought, as 
by a deep insight into men and things. Qs 
own mind was eminently manly and judicious, 
and resembled in several respects that of his 
admired author. No one can have formed an 
adequate idea of the vigour of his intellect, 
nor consequently, of the self-denial w^hich was 
content to forego the credit of it, who has Bot 
enjoyed the opportunity of frequent and fiuni- 
liar intercourse with him. The topics to whicb 
he restricted himself, were so few, that, joined 
to his simplicity of manner and exclusive cl^ 
votement to one object, it is no wonder if in 
their reverence for his piety many have ove^ 
looked his mental superiority. I have knoivo 
instances of this being the case; nor should I 
have been undeceived myself, if I had not aftw^ 
wards enjoyed for some time, the opportunitj 
of almost daily intercourse vrith him. 

" One indication of vigour and independ- 
ence of thought may be traced in. language. 
As soon as any one ventures to think fa 



REV. .lOIlM SMITH. 



2i\ 



himself, instead of acquiescing in conclusions 
thought out by others,^ — ^there will be a healthi- 
ness, a raciness, and even originality in his 
conceptions, which will demand and create to 
themselves appropriate fomis of expression. 
The materiel may be the same in both cases ; 
but in the fonner it has been melted down, 
aiid is delivered to you with the stamp of the 
HidiWdual mind upon it. This was the case 
in no small de^ee witli our late friend, when 
speaking on that subject which most occupied 
his thoughts and heart, — the work of God; 
many of the expressions employed by Mm 
loeiug pecuharly his own ; and yet such at 
the same time, as immediately recommended 
theinselves, by their fidelity to the conceptions 
they were designed to express. Another re- 
mark which I bave to make, refers to his use 
of single words, or, to adopt the language of 
logic, simple terms. Every one who has reflected 
much on the subject, ia aware of the confusion 
of thought which results from an indiscriminate 
and careless use of words ; and will esteem it no 
slight proof of the strength of his mind, that his 
conversation exhibited many instances of acute 
discrimination in tlds respect. 

"His collection of books was considerable, 
[both in theology and in general literature:] 
and he showed his enlightened regard for 
knowledge, not only by setting himself to in- 










viTOffZ^ 'jTi lit firct: acd ^■ersLSJsi^eiies of their 
c.y'^f:ii^,j T^^i^fzz xzijL \j &CT resuSar exposincB 
'>f ^'AsuispSA or diaChissicn of piindples. The 
^l/i/iX mid "povtT, raiher than the talent of the 
[>x<:ax;;h<;r v^ere seen and lelt. But why do I 
/niilCyly words on such a subject ? Salvatiok 
tti'; en</ of preaching, and that alonCy was 
t,t«<; object ever present to his mind. Hehsd 
tto heart for any thing that did not tend directly 
Uf tiijH reftult. He knew that the truths neces- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 



24S 



^to salvation were simple and few in num- 
ber ; aiid that tie ^eat difficulty to a preacher, 
is sot to make them clear to the apprehension, 
but to bring his hearers under their influence 
and power." * 

*' There was not to be fbimd in Mr. Smith's 
system of preachhig," says Mr. Clarkson, " the 
gigantic mind exerting its powers ui a long 
eoonected chain of metaphysical reasoning, on 
the subject he undertook to elucidate. Nor 
did his discourses shine with many and various 
illustrations, furnished by a rich imagination, 
on the great evangehcal truths he was ordina- 
rily accustomed to exliibit,* Nor were they 
delivered vnth any studied graces of gesture 

■ lie solUttimeE liowevet euiploj'ed for the parpoee of 
tllusCratioa, aome trifliug incident, in rather a happy 
manner. Prearliiiig for example one evening, from John 
xir. 21, he epoke of the delight sriaing from God's mani- 
fietflDg hnnself to the souls of hia people, and added the 
foUowing anecdote. When he resided at Windsor, he said, 
he once hod an opporhitiity of seeing hia late majea 
George IV. receive llie sacrament. As the king walked ^ 
(town the aisle of the chapel royal, he, Mr. S., made a , 
deep &nd reverent obeisance to his mnjesty. The kin|^ 
with his accustomed gracioiisnes)! bowed in return, i 
tiuB alight act of condescension, he remarked, filled him 
vith SD great delight, that it was with difhculcy be reprei- 
god the benediction which rose to his lips. " And oh," 
s^d he, " if a monarch's notice of one of his subjects thur . . 
affects him ; how transporting must be the revelaCionB nf 
Gbttelhc heart of the believer," &c. 



244 MEMOIRS OF THE 

and elocution. Yet if eloquence, as defined 
by an eminent minister, be ' vehement simpli- 
city,' Mr. S. possessed its essence He 

was very urgent on penitent sinners to come 
immediately to Christ, and believe on his 
name." " God's short way of salvation," lie was 
wont to say, " is the best. He will make it 
xure^ " He was convinced," adds Mr. C, ** that 
it was easier for a penitent to lose his conme- 
tions, and sink hack into his former state of sin 
and darknessy than for a believer to lose the 
saving grace of God; — and therefore by the 
Ibrce of divine argimient, and the ardour of holj 
importunity, he compelled sinners to make haste 
to Christ for salvation. — And thus 

' He tried each art, reproved each dull delay. 
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.' " 

Whenever I have had an opportunity of 
hearing him, his discourse has been regular 
and systematized, and in the most correct, sim- 
ple, and unadorned taste. Some short time 
before his last illness, he destroyed almost the 
whole of his manuscripts, lest they should 
aiford him any sort of apology for inattention 
to the composition of his sermons. I am there- 
fore unable to offer the reader, any adequate 
specimen of his preparations for the pulpit 
The few skeletons which still remain however, 
cursory and meagre as they are, a£brd suffi- 



RET, JOHN SMITH. S4S 

(.■ieiit evidence oi' his reij;'iilarity and coherence, 
in the treatment of his subjects. He was 
accustomed to reiiiwk, that " thought only 
could produce impression ; " and he was 
equally convinced, that arrangement and unity 
were oecesKary to pive tliou^ht its proper and 
intended effect. I am quite ready to admit, 
that there were occasiona, in wliich liia ardour 
led him away from his preconceived plans ; but 
in these cases, he rarely preached with his 
accustomed power, and the results by no means 
encouraged a repetition of such irregularity. 

The foregoing remarks will enable the read- ■ 
er to account for a certaui sameness in the 
subjects of his pteoclung, as well as in his 
mode of treating them, — a aamcueas indeed 
which will be remarked throughout the ex- 
tracts in these pages. His character was 
distinguished by unusual concentration. There 
was no extent or variety in his studies, not 
because he wanted either disccnunent, or 
taste, or power ; but because as soon as he 
attempted any thing differing from liis ordinary 
trains of thought, the current of his heart was 
too strong for him to bear up against, and 
he returned to the old topics. The minds of 
some men are like small mountain-girt bays, 
the waves of which separately waste them- 
selves on the base of an himdred rocks. His 
mind resembled the mighty and magnilicent 



246 MEMOIRS OF THE 

river^ pouring the fulness of its resistlesB waten 
through valleys which it clothes with verdure) 
and bearing on its bosom to the sea, the 
commerce of an empire. 

At the commencement of his pabUc $A^ 
dresses^ Mr. S. usually spoke with great 
calmness and deUberation, though there w» 
always an emphasis at the concliisi<Hi of Ins 
sentences^ which intimated the inflexible cob- 
victicm of the speaker, as to the truth and 
importance of the statements which he was 
making. But when he thought he had cob* 
vinced the understandings of his amdiesice, lie 
broke forth with a vehemence which I never 
saw equalled, and addressed himself to their 
hearts and eonsciences, altematelj in t^rrvr 
and tenderness, determined if possible to save 
some. To subjects of this latter class, hb 
heart often turned with an affecting abruptness. 
Sometimes I have heard him denouncing sin, 
with words, and tones, and gestures positively 
terrific, and then in a moment, his vmce has 
faltered, and with a burst of tears, he has 
proclaimed the boundless mercy of Grod and the 
infinite prevalency of the blood of Christ. ** One 
of the most striking instances of his power 
over a congregation," says Mr. Calder, " I wit- 
nessed at Sheffield. His subject wa» Ilom.T. 
8. I had heard him some years before preaeh 
from the same words, but the difference in the 



BET. JOHN SMITH, SW 

composition greatly surprised me. It was 
rich in sentiment, full of the most strikinp; 
truths, while the mode of exliibiting tJiem 
waa highly impressive and singular, being 
sententious, pointed, and I mig'lit say, ainotuit- 
ing to the epigrammatic The iirst part of the 
discourse, dwelt on man's state as a sinner, 
needing the love and pity of God. His de- 
scriptions of sin were awful; but when he 
came to point out its fruits, he was indeed 
terrific. Then having demonstrated that each 
individual trf his congregation was exposed to 
the torments of hell, but for the interposition 
of the mercy of God ; he abruptly asked in a 
melting tone, if tliey were not tbanfefiil that 
they were out of hell ; and weeping, he added, 
• If you are not, I am ; but I believe you are, 
and as we all feel alike, let us praise God 
together.' Then giving out 

' Praise God, from wbani all blessings flow,' &c. 

he with his own finely musical vcrice, pitched 
the old hundredth psalm tune. The effect was 
beyond all desci-iption. Two thousand people 
rose to join him in smgingj and each person 
seemed to wish to turn aside his fiice, to hide 
the tear and smother the swelling throb of his 
heart. It was indeed a memorable scene, and 
to many, amounted to an era in the history of 
tbeirlivM." 



I 



24S MEMOIRS OF THE* 

On the subject of revivals, Mr. Smith's 
opinions may be expressed in few words. He 
believed that • they were the results of the 
Holy Spirit's operation; and that faith and 
prayer would certainly secure that operationj 
at all times, and to an unlimited extent. The 
latter of these principles I suppose, is the 
only one likely to be questioned, though with 
what show of reason, it is difficult to conjecture. 
The terms on which the influences of the Holy 
Ghost are granted, are clear and mudterable, 
— " If ye then being evil, know how to give 
good gifts to your children, how much more 
shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit 
to them that ask him.'' Here is no restriction 
either as to the time or degree, in which we may 
expect our prayers to be answered. It is the 
presumption of unbelief alone therefore, which 
can suggest any other restriction, than the 
wants of men or the measure of their prayers. 
Nay more, as if to anticipate all objections, and 
silence all cavils, the promise is that we shall 
receive whatsoever we ask in the name of 
Christ ;* so that miless it can be proved, that 
no man can pray in faith for the reviving 
influence of the Holy Spirit, it must be 

♦ A promise repeated in various forms of expression, no 
less than five times in gospel history. See Matt xxi. 22; 
John 3dv. 13 ; xv. 16 ; xvi. 23 ; and especially Mark xi. 23, 
24 ; which compare with Isa. Ixv. 24; and 1 John v. 14, 15. 



HEV. JOHN SMITir. 



340 



admitted as one of the gifts, wliicli the veracity 
of God J3 pledged to grant to the interces- 
sions of his people. Can it for a moment he 
supposed, that man's exposition of the divine 
promises, can exceed in comprehension tht? 
benevolence of " Him who is able to do ex- 
ceeding abmidantly above all we ask or think?" 
Is the atonement of Christ so exceedingly 
circumscribed in its validity, that it is withiji 
the power of the lowest Cliristian daily to seek 
for blessings which it is unable to procure? It 
is not to be supposed. 

But arguments in favour of Mr, Smith's views 
<m this subject, are abundantly supplied by 
every analogy, which can be brought to bear 
upon the case. It is not to be denied that in 
answer to prayer, God will vouchsafe grace 
sufficient for the sanetification of an individual 
believer, or the awakening, repentance, and 
justification of an individual sinner. He who 
questions this, makes all intercession for 
spiritual blessings idle and profitless ; and he 
is confronted by the evidence of thousands of 
examples, in which immediate salvation has 
been procured by this means. And if one 
soul can be saved in answer to prayer, why 
not a hundred ? All tliat is required in the 
latter instance, is a proportionate increase of 
the pleading- of faith. God cwmot change : 
the principle upon which prayer is answered 
M 5 



250 MEMOIRS OF THE 

in the one case, must be mahitamed inviolate; 
and wlien farouglit to bear on the other^^must 
induce similar results. The mode^ot the divine 
working, is dictated by sovereign v(risdmn> bnl 
the degree depends on the fiaith of the chwcku 
God himself determines whether He. wiU d» 
scend as the dew upon Israel, or as the bioniBg 
flame ; but it is for his people to deoide, whether 
He shall come upon the single fleece^ whfle 
the rest of the floor is dry, — or viiiether the 
whole of the camp shall be surrounded and 
gladdened, by the scattering forth of angeb' 
food. 

It is certain that God vnll eonvert ■ the 
WORLD by the agency of the Holy Spirit. Eveiy 
missionary society goes upon the prindpkf 
that this agency will be secured to the efforts 
of the church, in answer to prayer. No mem- 
ber of such a society, — ^which is almost equi- 
valent to saying, no Christian, can therefore, 
without the grossest inconsistency, deny, that 
a smaller measure of divine influence will be 
granted upon the same terms. It is no matter 
of doubtful disputation, whether Christ shall 
indeed have the heathen for his inheritance 
and the uttermost parts of the earth for his 
possession. That is determined. But it seems, 
it is matter of great doubt and grave argument, 
whether the covenant which hereafter, in its 
ample provision, is to embrace all the families 



BEV; JOHN SMITll. 

of the earth, — can now be made available ior 
a. few hundred people in Great Britain, where 
the gospel has been preached for centuries ! 
There is uo question whether the wUdemesK 
wiil become a fertile field ; but it is very du- 
bious, whether the champaign already partially 
cultivated, can be at present rained to any 
higher degree of productiveness ! The deso- 
late woman shall bring forth children, but the 
married wife must be childless! For remote 
events, our faith is mighty; but when it is 
called for to achieve any considerable good 
now, we take refuge in some vague notion of 
the divine sovereignty, and refuse to avail our- 
selves of the unlimited promise of the Spirit ! 

Nor is it any objection to Mr. Smith's views 
that some revivals have arisen wliere, bo far as 
we could trace, there previously existed no 
ardent spirit of believing prayer, and where in 
fact, there was every indication of a very low 
spiritual condition. It would be strange rea- 
soning indeed, that because in some cases, 
God had transcended the express tenna of his 
engagement, He would therefore in others, fall 
short of them. As well arg^ue, that because 
He of his spontaneous compassion, gave his 
Son to die for the sin of the world, He there- 
fore vfiU not fulfil the covenant procured by 
his death ; or that because he is found of 
MHKe who seek Him not. He vsill refuse to be 



^2 MEMOIRS OF THE' 

found of those who do seek Him. No: the 
argument manifestly tends to the directly con- 
trary conclusion. If God gave his Son, He 
will with him also freely give us all things. If 
liis grace comes to those who are compaxatively 
indiiferent about it, much more will it, upon 
those who long and labour after it ; and if some 
revivals occur, where. there is no importunate 
spirit of faitli and prayer, it is the more certain, 
that if such a spirit can be produced in the 
church, a revival will succeed. 

A spurious faith is to be distinguished finom 
the genuine and scriptural; first, by its want 
of success ; and secondly, by its hurtful reac- 
tion upon its possessor. Now let us, by these 
infallible indications, try that £uth which 
respects revivals. Of it, Mr. Smith was a 
man who made experiment, and what was the 
result ? In every circuit in which he travelled, 
from the time he went to Brighton, it was 
productive of great effects. God owned and 
honoured it, and that in no common degree. 
And would this have been the case, had it been 
a presumptuous interference with the divine 
prerogative? which it must have been, if re- 
vivals be a mere question of the sovereignty of 
God. Let no riian venture to impugn this 
order of faith, unless he himself has tried it 
and found it to fail. To him who has in vain 
believed on the promise of the Spirit, we will 



listen as a rational opposer of Mr. Sniitli's prin- 
ciples ; but it is suificiently obvious, that the 
mere assertion of any otlier person is worth 
nothing in the argument. 2, The only ques- 
tion which remains therefore is, whether those 
individuals and churches whose faith immecU- 
ately respects revivals, are really less holy and 
prosperous than their neighbours. The in- 
quiry is not, whether a man may neglect per- 
aonal religion, npon the plea of public duty: 
this every one admits. But is the reaction ol' 
the faith in question, of spiritual prejudice to its 
possessors ? Suppose the case of two men, of 
similar character and condition in other respects, 
who gave equal diligence to make their personal 
calling and election sure ; would he who prayed 
and believed for a present revival of the work of 
God, be an inferior Christian to him whose 
benevolence was vague ajid undirected, and 
whose prayers on the subject were general and 
indistinct ? On tlie contrary, all experience tes- 
tifies that he would be very far superior, . Indeed 
it must be so, in the nature of things. The 
Spirit which inspires a purely benevolent long- 
ing for the present salvation of men, must be ol' 
God ; and such a desire, if properly cherished, 
is in its reaction, nothing less than a revival of 
persona] religion. Again we say, let those who 
have made the experiment, be the witnesses. 
Would to God, that all opposers of these views 



S54 MKliOIRS OF THE 

would only submit them to the tiial! Were all 
Christians daily to devote but a small partion 
of their time to intercession on this particidir 
subject, — ^were they resolved to obtain wiil w rnt 
delay, aU that God had engaged to bestow, both 
for themselves and others, there would be no 
moral enterprise too great to be adiievedj nor 
any moral hinderence too stupendous to be 
overcome. The day s/uM arrive when tlm 
spirit shall prevail throughout the chnidi^ and 
then ** the Desire of all notians shall come, 
and I will fill this house with glory, Btiik the 
Lord of Hosts/' 

Holding these principles, Mr. ' Smith, of 
course decidedly rejected the popular maxim, 
in its common acceptation, that— ^ we must do 
our duty, and leave the result to God." Ttii 
is on all hands, admitted to be a correct mk 
in respect to temporal blessings^ since for them 
the scriptures offer no unqualified promise. 
But Mr. S. maintained, that while it was folly 
and presumption to suppose that any success 
could attend the Christian ministry, except 
throiigh accompanying. divine influence; it was 
equally contrary to the reason^ of things, to 
make G-od res^Kxnsible for that which he has 
put into our own hands. In other wiords, as it 
is within the power of the church to secure a 
certain measure of the Holy Spirit's operation, 
it is irrational and unrighteous to impute the 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 355 

absence of that operation, to any thing but the 
want of effort and faith in the church. It is 
therefore, he argued, for every Christian minis- 
ter in part to decide tlie measure of his own 
succesa ; — nor is it possible to avoid this conclu- 
sioii, if the foregoing reasoning be correct. 

A few extracts from Mr, Smith's corre- 
spondence, may perhaps not be unacceptable to 
the reader in this place, principally to illustrate 
the state of the work of God, in Nottingham 
and its neighbourhood, during t!ie years 1826 
—27. " Oct, 7, 1826. I trust that there may 
be many who will actively concur with the 
Spirit. The Spirit is grieved both with oppo- 
sition and inaction. — Some scores have been 
set at liberty since I was at Cudworth, and 
many have obtained clean hearts. During the 
feast week at Radcliffe, I think about thirty 
souls found peace. Last Tuesday, Mr, Han- 
nah opened a chapel at Hyson Grreen. In 
the evening at the prayer meeting, I think five 
souls were saved. Two years ago, we had no 
society in that place. Now we have fifty in 
society, and ten on trial; and a chapel that 
will hold more than three hundred people." — 
"Feb. 21. 1827. God makes some little use of 
me in awakening sinners, and in leading them 
to Jesus, the sinners' Friend, for which I praise 
his name. Last Sunday fortnight at Arnold, 
eight or nine found peace with God. At 



256 MEMOIRS OF THB 

Granby in the Grrantham circuit, three weeks 
ago, nine souls obtained pardon and two weie 
cleansed. At Ruddington, in our circuit, about 
fifty have joined the society within the last 
quarter, most of whom have peace with God. 
The cleansing work is also going on. This 
will secure permanency and give extension to 
the church." — ^^ March ^. I am still ehoosing 
God for my portion, and his good service for 
my employment. I wish to be used much and 
God to have all the glory. I cannot, I will 
not be easy without seeing effects. Nay, I 
must not, I dare not, thanks be to God; and 
I am determined that He shall have all the 
praise. God is working mightily among us. 
I think we have on trial this quarter about 
four hundred and fifty. Labouring, pleading 
men are increasing. God will stand to his 
engagements: the work must go on. About 
a hundred have begun to meet in class at 
Arnold during the last quarter. The last time 
I was there, not fewer I think than twenty 
found peace. God seems to be agitating nearly 
the whole village. Lenton, wliich has long 
been desert, is fresh and green: the society 
has been more than doubled. Burton, the 
same. At BulweU, last Monday night, my 
very dear father preached. Two were cleansed 
from sin, and eight or ten found peace. On 
Tuesday at old Basford, one obtained a clean 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 



257 



heart, and twelve or fourteen found peace. We 
had about eight saved at Hockley cliapel last 
Sunday uighl. Glory, Glory be to God ! " — 
"April y4. At old Radford, last "Wednesday 
night, sixteen or eighteen ohtauied entire 
sanctifi cation, and eight were pardoned. At 
Halifax eliapel, last Sunday night, ten or 
twelve found peace : and last night two were 
pardoned, and one was cleajised. The work ia 
sure to go on, for God and we are agreed. 
Ijabour, labour is absolutely necessary." — 
" May 19. At Normanton the last time I was 
there, twelve foujid peace. The folio whig 
eveniiig, 1 was at Wysall in the Melton cir- 
cuit. After a mighty struggle, about twelve 
were saved. I heard this week that ui that 
place last Sunday and Monday nights, thirty 
were set at liberty. A short time ago, I saw 
nine or ten saved at Epperstone in the Mans- 
field circuit. Last Sunday week, I was at 
Mount Sorrel, preaching for their Sunday 
schools. 1 think nearly twenty got hberty, 
and some others were awakened. Glory be to 
God." — "July 11, Last night at old Basford 
many were pardoned, and several cleansed. On 
Monday night at Bulwell, I suppose between 
twenty and thirty were either pardoned or 
cleansed. Qui increase tliis year is about six 
hundred, and we have about three hundred 
on trial, I have been in the Loughborough 



So8 MEMOIRS OF THB 

and Derby circuits and saw many cleansed and 
pardoned.** — Mr. Smithes correspondence sup- 
plies many other equally striking ci^^tjiila of a 
similar kind, which are only omitted firom the 
fear of swelling the work to an improper sise. 
The following incidents however, seem worthy 
to be preserved. 

Among others converted through Mr. Smith's 
instnnnentalitVy in a coimtry place of the Not* 
tingham circuit, was one of those persons whio, 
even in their sins, appear to be the subjects of 
peculiar providential care. He was at the 
battle of Waterloo, and had two hoorses shot 
under him, but himself escaped unhurt. Some 
time afterwards, four ruffians assailed him, and 
having beaten him severely, left him, for dead. 
He recovered however, and the persons who 
ill used him were transported for the offence. 
Only three days before he was awakened, he 
was figliting in the streets of Nottingham, and 
had his shoulder dislocated through a &1L In 
this condition Mr. Smith's ministry was made 
the means of giving him to feel the anguish of 
a wounded spirit. After he left the chapel, he 
spent nearly the whole of the night in inex- 
pressible anguish ; and on the following motn- 
ing, through the directions and prayers of Mr. 
S., he was as a brand plucked out of the &t, 
and made happy in the divine favour. That 
evening, he led a person who had been awakened 



RBT. JOHS SMITH. 959 

at the same time with himself, to hear Mr, S. at 
an adjacent village, where he also experienced 
the pardoning love of God. 

A visit paid by Mr. Smith to tlie Newark 
circuit in the year 1827, is perliaps also worthy 
of record. On the Sunday afternoon and even- 
ing, he preached the anniversary sermons 
for the chapel at Baldertun, a village about 
two miles from Newark. On the former oeca- 
aion, the congregation was so large, as to ren- 
der it necessary i'or the service to be conducted 
in the open air. At the outskirts of tbe aastmi- 
bly, was a group of young men, who appeafed 
to have come to acott Mr. S. addiessed them 
in so Bolenm a manner however, that they were 
overawed, and induced to Usten with attention 
to tlie sennon. One of them was cut to the 
heart by the truths which he had heard, and 
not long after, m a lovefeast at Nottingham, 
made a. public profession of having obtained 
pardon for all his ains. At the tea table the 
aaine afternoon, at or about tlie time of taking 
tea, hve persona entered into the enjoyment of 
peace with God. During the evening service, 
much divine power was present, but for some 
time it was resisted, and to use Mr. Smith's 
own words, " the struggle was awful." At 
length, seven were awakened, three of whom 
were set at liberty before the meeting con- 
cluded. Uii the Monday evening, Mr. S. 



360 MEMOIRS OF THE 

preached at Newark, and there was a melting 
influence under the sermon. A prayer meet- 
ing followed ; but nothing remarkable occurred 
till about nine o'clock, when a woman in the 
gallery uttered an exceeding bitter and pierdsg 
cry ; and in less than two minutes, the awaken- 
ing power swept across the chapel, and all 
hearts seemed to bend before it, as com be- 
neath the sickle. Upwards of thirty persons 
were that evening converted to God, and 
several were cleansed from all sin. The next 
morning at breakfast, after some deUghtfol 
pleading with God, six others entered into the 
enjoyment of entire sanctification ; and in the 
evening, at the prayer meeting, fourteen peni- 
tents were filled with that peace which passeth 
aU understanding. 

At a lovefeast in Halifax-place chapel, Not- 
tingham, which Mr. S. conducted in the month 
of July, 1827, an extraordinary divine influ- 
ence prevailed. There was much good speak- 
ing, and towards the close of the meeting, Mr. 
Jos. Taylor, a local preacher, who has since 
died in the most triumphant manner, — ^rose to 
relate his experience. He said that he had once 
enjoyed the blessing of entire sanctification, 
but through unwatchfulness, had in this respect 
suffered loss. With much feeling he added 
that he was now earnestly longing and waiting 
for the restoration of this great privilege. 



REV. JOHN 



S61 



Mr. Smith instantly started from Ms seat in 
the pulpit and cried, " The cleansing power 
is on you now ! " For a moment he hesitated ; 
— it was but a moment, ajid he llien exclaimed, 
while the whole of his body quivered with 
emotion, " It is ; I feel it in my heart ! " The 
congregation then united in thanksgiWng and 
prayer; and in a short time, the windows of 
heaven were opened, and there was a rush of 
holy influence, such as, by the majority of that 
vast assembly, was never before experienced. 
It seemed like a stream of lightning, passing 
through eveiy spirit. At one time, twenty per- 
sons obtained the hlesshig of perfect love, and rose 
up rapidly one after another, in an ecstasy of 
praise, to declare tliat God had then cleansed then- 
hearts from all sin. 

Tlie following incidents will exemplify Mr. 
Smith's tact and courage in reproving sin. 
We were walking together in the streets of 
Nottingham, and overtook two nteu in conver- 
sation, just in time to hear one of them say, 
*' I '11 de d — d if I do." Mr. S. touched him on 
the shoulder, and with a mingled air of severity 
and compassion, said in a low impressive 
voice, "It is a serious thing to be daimied!" 
The man turned pale, and instantly rephed, 
" You are right, sir ; it is so." — -" Then do not talk 
so fluently about it," retmiied Mr. Smith, and 
asaed on. One Saturday evening, soon after 



260 MEMOIRS OF THE 

he had retired to rest, he was aroused by 
the outcries and execrations of a number of 
persons, who had come into the street, to 
decide a public house quarrel. Mr. Smidi 
threw up his window, and with an overpower- 
ing voice exclaimed, " Who is that swearu^, 
and blaspheming the name of my God? I 
cannot allow such language in the ears of my 
children." Then slipping on his clothes, he 
hastily mingled with the crowd, and began to 
remonstrate ^vith the combatants. fading 
however, that they would not listen to him, 
he seized the more athletic of the two by his 
arm, who feeling the force of his grasp, cried 
out, " You are too strong for me, air ! " He 
then suffered Mr. S. to lead him through several 
streets from the fray, confessed that he was 
a backslider, and solemnly engaged never to 
fight again. 

To several members of a large family resid- 
ing in the neighbourhood of Nottingham, Mr. 
S. had been rendered very useful; and the 
greater part of them were members of the 
society. The mother however lived without 
any sense of religion, and had a particular 
dislike to him. Her pious children had fre- 
quently solicited permission to invite him to 
the house, but this she strongly refused. One 
Sunday morning, he ventured to call. The 
moment she saw him, she said he seemed to 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 263 

loot tiiTougli her, and she fell that he knew 
all that was in her heart. Ai'ter he had taken 
^ some lefi-eshment, and while a hynm was sung, 
, the was smitten with deep conviction lor sin, 
^ and. when prayer was projiosed, she was glad 
to kneel down, that she might not he tihserved 
to weep. While Mj. S. prayed, a peculiar 
divine influence rested upon all present, and 
when another person begau to pray, he went 
to her and said, " Wiell, Mrs. B., you feel your- 
self a sinner!" — "Oh yes," she replied. — 
"And are you willing to give up your sins?" — 
Wringing her hands in deep anguish alie re- 
joiiicd, " Oh yes, sii", I am." He then exhorted 
her without delay to believe on Cliriat for 
present pardon. She instantly cried, " O Lord 
Jesus, 1 will believe ! O Lord Jesus, I do 
believe ! " She was at once filled witli a joy 
BO exti-cine, that for a time it seemed to over- 
whelm her iaculties; — she immediately united 
herself to tlie people ahe had once despised, 
and still remains an example of God's abundant 
grace. 

In the beginniiig of the year 1828, Mr. 
Smith's health began to decline. One day 
when he was very unwell, a person called and 
said he must see him, as he had come upwards 
of twenty miles for that purpose. His urgency 
procured liim admission to the chamber where 
Mx. S. was confined to his bed, sufiering at 



S64 MEMOIRS OF THE 

once from weakness and pain. The man told 
him that he had heen a backslider^ and that 
for some time past, he had been under deep 
convictions of sin; that he had sought the 
Lord with many tears, and had fiusted and 
prayed, but still remained without comfort 
'* Yes," said Mr. S., " and you may do so a 
long time, and be no better, unless you beUeve 
God. You do not need to leave this room 
without salvation. God would rather save you 
to-day than to-morrow. You may die to-day, 
and if you die unpardoned, you are lost for 
ever: but God wishes to save you. He says 
it, and he means what he says." — " But," said 
the man, " if I should beUeve and not get the 
blessing ! " — " Do not meddle with God's busi- 
ness," replied Mr. Smidi. " But it is God 
that saves the soul, is it not?" — "Yes: but 
it is not God's work to believe, that's your 
business. Do your part, man, and God will 
do his. Go down on your knees and ask God 
to save you at once." He did as he was 
directed. Mr. S. then turned himself in bed 
and began to pray, but finding that his strength 
was gone, he stopped and said, " We cannot 
get a step farther unless you will behove. 
How long is God Almighty to wait for you?** 
— " I will believe," cried the penitent, " I will 
believe ; I cannot do WTong in believing. I 
do believe." God answered in a moment, and 



MV. JOHN SMITH. 265 

filled him with such joy that he literally danced 
on his knees. " Did I not tell you," said Mr. 
S. exultingly, " that God would attend to his 
own business?" The poor fellow rose, kissed 
Mr. Smith's hand, and hurried home in un- 
speakable delight. 

The following is about the only notice of 
Mr. Smith's personal experience during the 
time he remained in Nottingham, which I find 
among his papers. ^^ Dec, 21,1826. Yester- 
day I had a very signal baptism of the Spirit, 
which had connected with it an assurance, that 
the body of sin was destroyed, and that God 
had fiill possession of my heart. This assur- 
ance I retain ; Glory be to God ! I feel inde- 
scribable pleasure in surrendering my all to 
Him. I have had to-day a very affecting view 
of the shattered and miserable state of the 
world ; but I have also had a very relieving 
view of the efficacy of the atonement of Christ, 
of the power of the Spirit, and of the covenant 
engagements of the blessed God. He willeth 
that ALL should be saved, and come to the 
knowledge of the truth. I have a strong 
desire that I may be better fitted for the good 
service of God, that I may be employed much, 
and that He may get all the glory. Amen. 
My body has been out of order, but my faith 
has not wavered. God is mine, and I am his : 
Glory be to God ! " 

N 



966 MXMOIRS OF THB 

Mr. H. Beeson of Sheffield gives the foUcHr- 
ing accoiint of a visit paid by Mr. Sw in Apiil 
1829, to a dying backslider in that town. 
" J. W. was the son o£ pious parents, and a 
child of many prayers and adm6nitioin«. He 
had at one period of his life, known the fowGt 
of diviQe grace; but he had unhappily turned 
aside from following the Lord, and fcxr a niun- 
ber of years had persevered in his rebellious 
course, when it pleased the Lord to afflict 
him ; or as Mr. S. used to say, ^ God took him 
aside to remonstrate with him.' His fiiends 
became very assiduous in their attention to his 
spiritual interests, but such was the carnal 
obstinacy of his heart, that he appeared rath^ 
annoyed than profited. Several weeks passed; 
his disease was making fearfiil progress; — ^ke 
began to yield, was brought into bitterness of 
soul, and in this state Mr. Smith found him. 
He said that he was very imhappy^ that he 
had been seeking the Lord, but had not 
obtained mercy. Mr. S. seemed to enter into 
a deep sympathy for him, and inquired whe- 
ther he rested on Christ for salvation. He 
replied that he did. * Well then God accepts 
you in Christ, and God accepts you now in 
Christ,' said Mr. Smith, repeating the declaration 
again and again with much emphasis. He spoke 
and prayed for nearly an hour, and while he was 
pleading the promise, ' I will heal their back- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 

slidings,' &c., the man was clearly set at liberty; 
and notwithstanding hia weakness, he rose 
up ill bed and shouted the praises of God 
with such energy, that his voice overpowered 
the voices of all present. In this happy 
state of mind lie continued for three weeks, 
and then, while 

' Hia last faltering accents whiBper'd praiie,' — 
he sweetly fell asleep." 

At the conference of 1828, Mr. Smith was 
compelled to become a auperniimerarj-, HLs 
constitution was so broken up, that it was 
manifest hia life could be prolonged only by, 
at least, a partial cessation from labour. It 
was with great reluctance that he submitted to 
this arrangement; but of its necessity, he had 
in himself evidence too palpable to be resisted. 
He therefore took up his residence at Beeston, 
a pleasant village a few miles from Notting- 
ham ; and it is proper to be recorded that a 
handsome provision was made for liim iirom 
the circuit funds, and that his friends were 
assiduous in supplying every alleviation of his 
affliction, which was within their power. Yet 
with all the consolations which faith can com- 
mand, and friendship afford, the situation of 
a supernumerary is deeply painful. To Mr. 
Smith, it was pecuharly so, and liia mind was 
often exercised by powerful temptation, and 
deeply depreraed. He could not be prevailed 



2S8 MEMOIRS OF THI^ 

upon to remain entirely in a state of iiiactioii 
when he was at all able to labour : that degree 
of relaxation which he allowed himself how' 
ever, was materially serviceable to him; and 
throughout the year, his health gradually im- 
proved. I subjoin a few extracts from his letters 
at this period. 

From Bamsley where he was staying for the 
benefit of his health, he thus writes to Mrs. S. 
" Sept. 1 1, 1828 : — I am very glad that you are 
rising in your soul. There is no substitute for 
intercourse with God. Without divine com- 
munications, the soul droops^ and dies, and 
becomes a corrupt thing. But with what life, 
and beauty, and blessedness God can impr^- 
nate the soul ! Yes ; before the mighty energy 
of God the Holy Ghost, every thing that is 
foul and corrupt is driven, and from the in- 
dwelling Spirit spring love, joy, peace, &c. 
Let us, my dear, pray on, and pray hard. God 
will not disappoint 'a feeble worm that trusts 
in him.' I thank you for the help of your 
prayers. You have my poor prayers and shaU 
have them. Notwithstanding much unfeithfiil- 
ness, I believe it possible for us to live to God 
as we never have lived. Let us try. God's 
blessing, his peculiar blessing is always con- 
nected with entire devotedness to Him. It 
will also be an inheritance to our children. 
Oh that the blessed God would send us speedy 



REV. JOHN SMITIT. 

and appropriate help. — I ain in a fuir way to 
come about again. Most likely I shall loiig 
be a delicate man with respect to bodily health. 
This may be the best for me. Thia I know^ 
God cannot err, nor can he be unkind. Glory 
be to Him ! — With a peculiar sense of the 
value of your affection, and wishing that you 
and your charge may dwell imder the shadow 
of the Almighty, I am," &c. 

Under the date of Dec. 26, 1828, he thus 
writes : — " My soul has fast hold on God. He 
is mine and I am his. I have had of late, 
some very gracious divine communications. 
I am looking for brighter, more penetrating 
and soul transforming manifestations of God. 
I want, ' beholding as in a glass the glory of 
the Lord, to be changed into the same image 
from glory into glory, even as by the Spirit of 
the Lord.' The grand adversary haa laid hard 
at me, but God haa pitied me and rebuked 
him. Disorder Is retiring from my body : 
health and vigour are returning. With cau- 
tion on my part, God seems disposed to build 
me up again. Much prayer has been made for 
me in this circuit, and in other places, God 
has heard and regarded. I am thankful. I 
mean to use my returning health for God and 
for souls. He will help. You are aware tfiat 
I have commenced preaching again; and God 
is pleased to connect his soul-saving power 



370 MEMOIRS OF THE 

with me I have raised a class^ which meets 

in our house. Grod owns it. The first ni^t, 
a local preacher who has come from Shepton 
Mallet, got a clean heart; the second, four 
obtained pardon ; the third, two others ; the 
fourth, two more; and last Wednesday night, 
five were cleansed, as was another, who came 
into our house just as we were commencing 
fianily worship. Glory, glory be to Qodl 
The cleansiQg God still lives and works. My 
wife is tolerably well, and happy in GxkL 
Ellen is under a divine influence. What a 
pleasing thought it is that our children are tHe 
Lord's. We must try to prevent the devil from 
making any use of, them in the world. The 
provisions of the gospel are sadly ov^ooked 
and neglected. 'The promise is to us and 
to our children.* We will try that they may 
be a holy seed. May the Lord help you and 
me to claim the grace which is provided and 

oflered ia • Christ I am loaded with the 

kindness of the people in this circuit. I 
trust God will reward them. My prayers 
they shall have. You and yours have my 
prayers and tears. I am, dear brother M*D., 
yours," &c. 

''March 17, 1829.— My very dear father, 

A few weeks ago, I spent upwards of a fort- 
night in London. I had liberty beyond my 
expectation in preaching at Hinde street one 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 271 

Sunday tiight, irom ' Am I live aaith the Lord 
of Hosts, I have uo pleasure in the death of 
the wicked,' &c. Tiie strong power of God 
was among the people. One woman cried out 
while I was preaching, and a general burst 
was anticipated. This however did not tafee 
place, perhaps through not going to prayer 
at the time. A great multitude stayed at 
the prayer meeting. Many were powerfully 
wrought upon, and it was supposed about 
thirty were sa\-ed. Glory he to God ! On 
Wednesday I and brother M'D. went to Wool- 
wich. 1 preached in the evening from ' Ask, 
and ye shall receive,' &c. D. and I returned to 
London that night ; hut we afterwards learned 
that tlie pardoned and cleansed amounted to 
sixteen. Mr. Reece engaged me for Oueen 
street, the following Sunday night. I had 
special liberty from 'This is a feithful saying, 
afld worthy of all acceptation,' &c. There 
w^as much of the cutting power of God among 
the people. According to a previous arrange- 
ment, I commenced the prayer meeting from 
the pulpit. Not fewer than fifteen hundred 
people stayed. The praying men then came 
forward weU ; several got liberty ; the high 
praises of God were sung, &c. Mr. Reece 
marshalled the meeting until after ten o'clock, 
and then requested all who were in distress to 
retire into the vestry. It was supposed that 



272 MEMOIRS OF THE 

not fewer than forty were saved that night. 
Glory he to God! You would not he much 
surprised at this, were you to hear their mighty 
men pray. Oh what straight forward believing 
in God ! What powerful wrestling 1 On the 
Wednesday following, I preached at Charles 
street, a favourite place of mine, from *Wilt 
thou he made whole?' It was crowded, and 
again the Lord Jesus displayed his royal power 
and mercy in saving soids. The pardoned and 
cleansed, I understand, were not fewer than 
thirty. Glory be to God ! By this time my 
body was shorn of its strength, and I was glad 
to seek rest by returning to Nottingham. In 
different places in our own circuit, I have 
seen several saved. To God be all the gloiy. 
Amen and amen." 

''July 2, 1829. I preached at Sheffield, 
according to appointment, to a large congre- 
gation, and there was a powerful influence 
connected with the truth of God. I should 
think twelve or fourteen hundred stayed to the 
prayer meeting. Many were in distress, and 
a goodly company either found peace or were 
cleansed from sin.* I preached out of doors 
at Chilwell, a few days afterwards; three or 
four were awakened, and have since joined 
the society. On Whitsunday, we had a good 

♦ This was the service which Mr. Calder describe^ 
p. 247, above. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 



day at new Basford. Five found peace in the 
evening. They aie going on well there. I 
was at Hiclding in the Melton circuit, a short 
time ago. Many were in distress, and five 
found peace. The week before last, I went to 
Clauson, where we had a very signal time: — 
a crowded chapel, much power under the ser- 
mon, and after some powerful strugghng in 
the prayer meeting, fifteen or sixteen were 
saved. We had one saved at our class last 
Tuesday night. So you see the Lord is still 
working among us, ' Jesus, ride on, till all 
are subdued.' Through mercy we are all 
tolerably well in health, and we are determined 
to try to get and diffiise more of God." Then 
in allusion to his temporal circumstances he 
adds, " I would rather break stones on the 
road, than pass another such an year as the 
last. I like to earn my bread, and that ha^ 
sometimes made me labour when 1 ought to 
have rested. But I hope God will smile after 
bruising me a little. I am, dear father, &c." 

"July 21, 1829. Dear brother M'Demiott, 
— For many weeks I have been labouring hard, 
and I have stood it well. Many seals have 
been given to my ministry, and to the agoniz- 
ing prayers of God's people. Frequently four, 
five, six, have been saved in an evening; — 
several individuals in families. Last Sunday 
I was at Hockley, perhaps for the last time; 
-N 5 



374 MKIIOIRS OP THE 

numbers went away who could not get into the 
chapel. The mighty power of Grod was among 
lis. It is said that not fewer than thirty were 
saved. Last night I was at new Basford : saA 
floods of heavenly influence I have seldom wit- 
nessed. Many were saved." 

On Easter Sunday evening of this year, 
Mr. Smith preached at Hockley chapel^ and 
having conunenced a prayer meetings went 
into the vestry, intending immediately to retimi 
home. A poor man followed him, and with 
an expression of extreme disppcnntaient, ex- 
claimed, "What! are you going?*' — "Yes," 
said Mr. S. "what is the matter with yout* 
" Oh I am a miserable man, sir f " — " Are yoQ 
a backslider ! " — " Yes, I am, and I am a mi- 
serable man! " — " Do you wish to come back? 
do you want to be saved again ? " — -" I am 
come on purpose, and now you are going."— 
" Go into the chapel, and get upon your knees," 
said Mr. Smith, " and I will be with you in a 
few minutes." He did as he was directed, and 
when Mr. S. went to him, he found him in an 
agony of distress, exclaiming, "There never 
was such a sinner as I am." — ^**You deserve 
hell," said Mr. S. " That's ' true," replied the 
other, with a deep groan, " I do indeed." — "0 
man, God will not allow you to remain in this 
distress. He says, ^I will heal yoiir back- 
slidings, and I will love you freely.' Do you 



RftV. JOtiN SMtTtt. 275 

think God tells Uest^—^No."— " Then He 
\riil do it, will He not?** The penitent laid 
hold on the truth, and was instantly delivered, 
and filled with a joy as extreme as had heen 
his previous anguish. The same evening, a 
poor woman went up to the communion raD, 
taking with her two others. She said, " This, 
Mr. Smith, is my daughter, and this other is 
my son's wife: they both want salvation." 
God gave them also the desire of their hearts ; 
and several others were also saved. 

Mr. Smith's health being sufficiently restored 
to enable him to resume his regular labours as 
an itinerant preacher, he was appointed in 
1829 to the Lincoln circuit, under the super- 
intendence of the Rev. W. Clegg. On the 
last Sunday which he spent in Nottingham, 
he preached the anniversary sermons for the 
Sunday schools, and after the evening service 
at St. Ann's chapel, upwards of twelve persons 
obtained peace with God. On the Monday 
evening, he delivered a farewell discotmse at 
Halifax-place chapel. The congregation was 
very large; and at the prayer meeting which 
followed, not fewer than twenty entered into 
the liberty of the children of Gbd. Among 
these, was a woman who had a persecuting 
husband. She had once enjoyed the divine 
favour, but had suffered her domestic troubles 
so far to prevail over her faith and diligence, 



274 

numbers « 
chapel. 11 
us. It ii 
saved. I.asl< 
floods of liL' 
nessed. Ms ~- -■ 

On Easte 
Mr. Smith p 
having caaaa 
into the vestrj 
home. A pot 
an expression 
claimed, " Wh 
said Mr. S. "\ 
"Oh I am a mi 
a backslider ! ""— 
serable man ! "— ' 
do you want t* 
come on purpose 
" Go into tlie cha^ 
said Mr. Smith, 
few minutes." H< 
when Mr. S. went' 
agony of distress, 
was such a 
hell," said Mr. S. 
other, vrith a deep ^ 
man, God will not a- 
distresE. He says, 
slidings, and I will 







,i*t 




•i^ vet !a \x^S 



■t^ 

^k: 



:^^^^- 

^ 





REV. JOHN SMITH. 

oaverted to God through Mr. Smith's 

'^te instrumentality. And if to this ex- 

"^fy number, we add those eases in 

Ws nuniatiy was powerfully blessed to 

•uring circuits, and the other instances, 

'a he was in a still more extended, 

less palpable and direct way, the in- 

of good in his own circuit, — we have 

It of spii-itual service to the church, 

ult of one man's labour, such as, in so 

"^od, has very rarely been surpassed. 

-supposition that lus principles were 

■- ect, and liis modes of effort un- 

he marvellous character of his 

sttrikingly enhanced. What must 

-■^ might of that piety, wliich in 

:i.Ainental and practical error, 

- "iJi incalcidable mass of good ! 

ry of that faith, which with 

lerances, succeeded in hring- 

'y influence so extensive and 

ather, we are compelled to 

' error which tends to lead 

the knowledge of the. 

heresy which 

m their most f 

fagance which 1 

g sheep into 

, thrice happy 




278 MEMOIRS OF THE 

travagance affixed to his character at a kiunan 
tribunal^ returns to God to be enshrined and 
exalted, as a radiant and spotless star, for ever 
and ever ! 



XIV. 

LINCOLN. 1829—1881 . 

Mr. Smith commenced his public ministiy 
in Lincohi, on Sunday morning, Aug. 30, by 
a powerful and characteristic sermon from 
John xvi. 24f : — " Ask, and ye shall receive, that 
your joy may be full." On the evening of the 
same day, he preached, I believe, from Job, 
xxii. 21 : — " Acquaint now thyself with him, 
and be at peace," &c. In both these discourses, 
he gave his hearers distinctly to perceive the 
order of his preaching. "Whoever discredits 
my Master," said he, in one of them, ** I do 
not. His promise is, ' Where two or three 
are gathered together in my name, there am I 
in the midst.' Jesus is here. — Glory, glory be 
to God!" He thus speaks of the results of 
his early labours in this circuit, in a letter to his 
friend Mr. M*Dermott. 

" Oct. 21. 1829. — I am rather strong to 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 279 

labour: — I am disposed to labour: — I have 
plenty to do; — ^and the best of all is, God is 
with me! — I had been told that the Lincoln 
congregation consisted of very still sort of peo- 
ple, who were incapable of excitement, &c. 
&Ci Caution — caution would be necessary. 
Well, pondering took place in my mind. The 
result was, I will strike the first Sunday. I 
did so ; execution was done. God saved four : 
and he has saved, I should think, at least four- 
score since in Lincoln. Hallelujah! Hail to 
the Lord's Anointed^ The royal diadem be- 
longs to Him! We will crown him Lord of 
all! — ^The floods are coming! Many drops, 
some showers have already descended : how 
refreshing ! But the floods are coming ! If 
our people continue in agonizing, believing 
prayer, which has fast hold of them at present 
— and why not? — ^nothing can stand before 
them. Satan will fall as lightning from heaven. 
Hardness, levity, carelessness, and profanity 
are as chaff* before the wind. God has risen 
from his holy habitation, and speaks salvation 
in every direction. What an honour to be one 
of his attendants, — to be one of his heralds ! — 
I cry out. He is coming ^ and often, He is here ! 
His royal presence is known by his boimty 
distributed, — ^pardons in great numbers, — ^the 
frequent healing of backsliders, — clean hearts, 
—-filled spirits go away rejoicing, and the 



S80 MEMOIRS OF THE 

arrows stick £E^t in the hearts of the King's 

enemies. With tears, and cries, and groans, 

and rejoicings, I say, 

' Live for ever, wondrous King, 
Bom to redeem and strong to save ! ' 

Good luck to thee : — ride on ; — ^win, — subdue, 
— conquer, — triumph, — have the glory for ever 
and ever ! — What, do tears of joy fill your eyes, 
and do you say, * Amen, my God ! — ^let there 
be a sweeping work; and strenthen his 
body.' — O my brother ; — I have just had to 
wipe away my tears at the thought of your 
praying for me, — ^body and soul. Thank you, 
— thank you! Well, when we shake hands 
on the banks of the river, we will sing, 
* Hallelujah to the Lamb.' I should like to 
enter into particulars, but for want of room, I 
cannot go back far. Only some who were 
thought to be the most unlikely to get salva- 
tion have been saved, such as proud high 
spirited young men, &c. But what is all this 
before the omnipotent Spirit, whose work it is 
to save? From four to twenty have been 
saved at one meeting in Lincoln, again and 
again. An imcommon stir there is in many 
parts of the circuit, and persons from nine to 
seventy-six years of age are among the saved. 
Last Sunday I was at Bassingham. I preached 
at half past one, from * Create in me a clean 
heart,' &c. We then had a good lovefeast. 




REV. /OHN SKITH. 

t I was about to give out a verso and 

leoce a prayer meeting, a tine young man 

^p and told us, tliaC he iiad some time 

L clean heart, but that he liad been 

Jly acted upon again during the ser- 

I wast on the point of speaking 

t, when he said, ' God cicansea me again!' 

Bt like electric fluid. I said, ' Now you 

lie cleansing power ui (lod is in the 

fl\; you that want a clean heart niay have 

One man exclaimed, ' I have got it," 

] looking round, added, ' You may all have 

We began to pray, and the meeting tlid 

1 conclude, till I went to preach at six 

pck. I was told that thirty-three obtained 

6 sanctilication, and many were pardoned. 

! evening, the strong power of God was 

I suppose towards thirty were par- 

^ and many cleansed. Glory be to God t 

■t on Monday to Besthorpc. Seventeen 

, several were cleansed, and 

: in distress. Yesterday morning, I saw 

1, and one gel into liberty. These 

lya of grace. It is God's will that they 

continue. Hallelujah ! On Monday 

'Hight, at the prayer meeting in Lincoln, tour 

M five and twenty were saved. Expectation 

i« high, and God will not fail. Love to the 

praying men." 

One of the youi^ men, to whom allusion is 



4 



282 MEMOIRS OF THE 

made in the foregoing extract, had been ac- 
customed to attend the chapel for some yean; 
but, as he himself confessed, he listened to 
sermons in general, merely as he would have 
done to the rehearsing of a play. Mr. Smith's 
ministry however, he could not treat thus. 
Spite of himself, it compelled hiTn to reflect 
The terrible denunciations of sin, and the 
accompanying representations of perditioiiy 
with which it occasionally abounded, produced 
the most lively alarm in his mind ; and he did 
not rest, till he was brought to the knowledge 
of salvation, through the remission of sins. 
Another individual, of similar age and ehaiac- 
ter, occasionally went to the chapel to oUige 
«ome pious friends; but evinced in the moit 
unequivocal way, his thorough scorn for rdi- 
gion and its professors. A sermon by Mr. S. 
powerftdly wrought upon his mind ; but being 
naturally of a reserved disposition, he con- 
cealed his feelings for several days. His dis- 
tress, however, became so great, that he couU 
no longer attend to his business. He retired 
to his room, and was there overheard by i 
Christian relative, uttering his angiush befoe 
the Lord. She went to him : his a^ny was so 
great, that she feared his reason would have 
left him, and the struggle was protracted and 
awful. At length, the sacrifice of Christ was 
presented to his mind. — " If He will save an- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 283 

f ners," he cried, " can I, may I hope that He 
I will save me ? " As if in distinct reply to this 
t ittquiry, there was immediately appKed to his 
i mind the promise, " Him that cometh wnto 
tj me, I will in no wise cast out." He laid hold 
^ of it, and was filled with gladness and thanks- 
jf giving. These two young men have already 
% been made useful in the chtirch of Grod. May 
^ they, with fidelity and perseverance, follow 
^ Aose " who through faith and patience, inherit 
g: the promises ! " 

f A few days after Mr. Smith's arrival at Lin- 

i coin, he was made instrumental of good, in a 

{I case of obstinate and protracted imbelief. The 

pi jperson who was the subject of it, had been 

I jepeatedly visited by pious individuals; but 

•^ «very argument employed by them had faQed 

.J to produce any eflfect upon his mind. Mr. S. 

jjl readily entered into a view of his state ; and 

f having remarked that there was much satanic 

^ influence operating on his spirit, prayed several 

,{ times, till at length, the trembling penitent 

^ ventured to cast his soul on the atonement; 

though he stiU remained without much sensible 

J comfort. Subsequently he gave way to doubt, 

I and again was brought into total darkness; 

but through Mr. Smith's instructions, he had 

acquired such views of the way of faith, and 

the simplicity of evangelical salvation, that he 

speedily recovered what he had lost* His 



284 MEMOIRS OF THE 

comfort increased: and at a lovefeast a short \^ 
time afterwards, he stated these &cts, and 
testified that he could then rejoice in God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ* 

In January of 1830, Mr. Smith visited Not- 
tingham, to preach in behalf of the tract 
society in that place. The following is an 
extract from a private memorandum written at 
the time. — " My object in going to Nottingham, 
is the glory of God in, 1. the awakening of 
sinners, — the bringing of penitents to Christ, 
that they may be pardoned, accepted, adopted, 
and regenerated; — 2. the restoration of poof 
backsliders; — 3. the entire sanctification of 
believers; their support and comfort under 
trouble and temptation; and their being filled 
with all the fulness of God ; — 4«. begetting and 
increasing in God's people, concern for the 
salvation of souls in general, and of sinners in 
Nottingham in particular. Every soul in Not- 
tingham was called into being by the blessed 
God, and has been preserved and redeemed 
by Him : and it is God's wiU that each shouU 
be saved. — For the getting and cultivating 
sympathy for souls, consider that they are, 1. 
immortal ; 2. accountable ; 3. capable of bliss 
or pain extreme ; 4. naturally corrupt ; increas- 
ers of corruption in themselves, and propa- 
gators [of it in others ;] also that they are 
acted upon injuriously by men and deviU. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 



2S5 



, pities them, and bids them welcome to 
1 blessings of his house; Christ died and 
BTcedea for them : the Spirit works upon 
lem, and is ready to furnish still more pow- 
'erfiil influences ; but they must use the means 
of God's appointing, actively concur with the 
Spirit, or perish everlastingly. They are our 
, ta-ethren ; we have access to them in person or 
I by proxy. We are capable of acting upon 
' them. A divine influence is connected with 
every Christiau. God and Christ require it of 
us. We have power with God for them. Tlieir 
state must bo looked at with as much parti- 
cularity as possible. The atonement must be 
believed for them: promises of the influences 
of the Holy Spirit must be seized and pleaded 
fiw them : their liardness, profanity, pride, 
carelessness will give way ; and it will appew 
that God is with Zion, making her 'a sharp 
threshing instrument having teeth.' Individual 
pleading in this way, will do much ; united 
pleading will do more. Who ivill come up to 
the help of the Lord against the mighty ? 
Allow not tlie work to flag ; stick to it. Per- 
sonal piety will improve, and there will be 
accessions to the church of Christ, &c. Who 
is sufficient for these things ? No one, but 
the man whom God fits for the work. Lord, 
help me ! " Mr. Smith's labours at Nottingham 
on this occasion, were greatly blessed; and 



S86 MEMOIRS OF THB 

among other cases of his success, there wai 
one meeting which he conducted, in which not 
less than forty souls ohtained the pardon d 
their sins. In his correspondence, he speab 
of tlie Sabbath which he spent with his Not- 
tingham fiiends at this time, as a day never to 
be forgotten. 

Meanwhile in his own circuit, the work d 
God greatly prospered. Writing to his friend 
Mr. M'Dermott, in the month of March, he 
says, ^^ Oh how the Spirit has been pound 
out upon this circuit! It is spring in neai^ 
every place. The wilderness has become a 
fruitful field ; the desert, as the garden of the 
Lord. I think it certain, that more than fife 
hundred have been added since conference. 
Wliat may we not expect? for we have many 
men in full action." 

Almost all the neighbouring circuits appea^ ■ 
ed, in a larger or smaller degree, to share this 
holy influence. Some of them were visited hy 
Mr. Smith himself; and individuals from otheO) 
who had been blessed through his instrumen- 
tality in Lincoln or its immediate vicinity, 
returned to their several places of residence, 
carrying with them a portion of his ardour, 
and becoming in their turn the partakers of 
his success. Thus the word of the Liord had 
free course and was glorified, to a degree, 
rarely, if ever known in that country. Mr. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 287 

'F. Eggleston, one of the local preachers at 
Newark^ gives the following account of a visit 
paid by Mr. S. to that circuit. " In March 
I83O9 we gave him an invitation to preach our 
anniversary sermons for Newark and Benning- 
ton chapels, I offering to supply his place at 
Besthorp on the Monday evening. His letter 
on that occasion, I have before me. ' I intend, 
God willing,' he writes, *to stay over the 
Monday, according to your request respecting 
Bennington. Our friends at Besthorp will, I 
doubt not, be very glad to see you. I will 
thank you as opportunity may serve, to caution 
the friends at Newark, against looking too* 
much to man. We must not forget that all 
good flows from God, and that He will not 
give his glory to another. May. the blessed 
God hold me in his right hand, and use me 
for his glory ! ' His labours were singularly 
owned of God on that day. After preaching 
in the evening, I requested him to leave the 
chapel, and I would conduct the prayer meet- 
ing. He reluctantly retired for a time. The 
altar rail was surrounded with penitents cry- 
ing for mercy, and several fomid peace with 
God. I attended for Imri at Besthorp, and 
when I returned on Tuesday morning, I found 
a blessed change in my own family. My eld- 
est daughter and my apprentice, — ^who is now 
on the Lincoln plan as an exhorter, — ^had 



888 MEMOIRS OF THE 

found mercy. Mr. S. spent the day with me, 
and such a day, he declared, he had not spent 
since he was bom. His soul seemed filled 
with glory and with God. He wept, he pray- 
ed, and shouted aloud, "Glory, glory be to 
God!* Sometimes, as if holding intercourse 
with the Triune God, he for a few mom^its 
appeared abstracted; and then bringing hk 
mind among us, he said, * Come, brother E., 
let us praise God.' A favourite verse was 
sung, we prayed together, and then entered 
into conversation respecting the prosperity of 
Zion. Many penitents found their wray "to our 
house that day, that he might pray wdth them. 
Their anxiety, that of returning backsliders, 
and of others who had found peace, to see 
him, — was such, that until he entered the 
coach to return, he had constant employment. 
He appeared to carry with him the spirit of 
his Master, wherever he went. We have a 
great number," Mr. E. adds, "who are mem- 
bers of our society in Newark, who are indebted 
under God to John Smith as their spiritual 
father, and there is scarcely a society in the 
circuit, which does not contain one or more of 
his spiritual children." 

In the month of June, I had an opportunity 
of spending half an hour with Mr. S., as I 
passed through Lincoln. I found him as usual, 
absorbed in his great work. He related to me 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 289 

with much delight, many pleasing instances of 
the power of grace which had recently occur- 
red in the circuit ; and among others, mentioned 
one place in the country, at which, a few even- 
ings before, between twenty and thirty souls 
had been set at liberty at a prayer meeting. I 
was particularly struck with his powerful ex- 
pressions on the subject of the divine bene- 
volence, and more especially with the last 
sentence which he uttered before I took my 
leave of him : — " If God will not save men, it 
is no business of ours:'* — a truth deeply mo- 
mentous and interesting, since hiunan exertions 
for the salvation of souls, are only rational on 
the ground of the surpassing and infinite wil- 
lingness of the Almighty. 

In the character both of his preaching and 
of the success which attended it, Mr. S. ex- 
ceeded the expectations which had been en- 
tertained by the friends at Lincoln, before his 
coming among them. On this subject, the 
following testimony of a respectable member 
of the society, is appropriate and forcible; 
and it is here inserted the more readily, because 
it goes strongly to confirm the views supplied 
by the preceding pages, on the topics to which 
it alludes. " He was not merely the means of 
filling our chapel and class books with the 
poor to whom the gospel, and may I not say, 
methodism peculiarly, has been sent; but 

o 



290 MEMOIRS OF THE 

with many of those also, whose education and 
powers of mind were such, that they required 
something more than excitement. Mir. S. never 
preached a sermon that I heard, in which th^e 
was not powerful, close reasoning, connected 
with the impassioned appeals of one who M 
deeply and keenly the dangerous state of many 
of his hearers. Nor was it only to the nncon- 
verted part of his hearers, that his sermom 
were addressed. He fully displayed the way 
of salvation from all filthiness of the flesh and 
the spirit. He was not one of those, from 
whose ministry, although rejoicing in its suc- 
cess, calm and experienced Christians would 
retire, when personal profit was desired. No; 
without a dissenting feeling, his ministry was 
attended with delight by all our members ; and 
perhaps the change produced upon us as a 
church, was as visible as our increase of mem- 
bers gained ifrom the world. It is often said 
of those who, like Mr. S., earn to themselves 
the honourable title of revivalist, that they are 
fitted only for one department of the work of 
God, and that other talents are required to 
build up the church. However this may be 
the case with others, it did not apply to him. 
To many, whose names are firesh in my recol- 
lection, he was useful, not only in conveying 
light to their minds, and healing to their con- 
sciences, but also in directing them to the 



REV. JOHN SMITH. ^1 

acquisition of knowledge and general informa- 
tion, that they might thus be employed more 
usefiilly and influentially for God and their 
fellow creatures." 

The subjoined instance of Mr. Smith's spi- 
ritual discernment, is supplied by the writer of 
the foregoing extract. A sick woman in Lin- 
coln was visited by him. She was under con- 
siderable concern for her spiritual condition, 
but the advices which she had previously 
received, appeared to have produced no salu- 
tary effect upon her mind. It was difficult to 
conjecture what prevented her from entering 
into the enjoyment of the divine favour; but 
.manifestly there was ««ie mater«d hinderance. 
Mr. S. conversed with her cursorily, and then 
becoming thoughtful, he for a while sat in 
silence. At length he said, "But have you 
not at some time known the grace of God, and 
proved un&ithfiil?" With some hesitation 
the woman confessed diat this was the £act. 
^* Oh then," said Mr. S., " you must take your 
right character before the Saviour : — ^you are a 
backslider; you must come to God as such, 
and He will receive you." He then prayed 
with her, and she was enabled to exercise faith 
in the promises adapted to her state. She was 
filled with peace and joy, and shortly after, 
her spirit returned to God, Mr. S. was a per- 
fect stranger to her character at the time of 

o2 



292 MEMOIRS OF THE 

his visit, and the firifend who accompanied him, 
and who gives the relation, had not the slight- 
est idea of the real state of the case. 

Mr. Clarkson relates the following examples 
of the success which, about this time, attended 
Mr. Smith's labours in private. The latter is 
inserted as an illustration of his faith&l and 
searching method of dealing with sinners. — 
Mr. S. was one evening at the ^ house of a 
friend, and among the company was a young 
lady, the daughter of an eminent and exem- 
plary deceased member of the society. He 
addressed her on the subject of religion, and 
inquired whether she wished to go to heaven. 
She replied in the affirmative, but added that 
she thought she might succeed in arriving 
there without meeting, in class, &c. " But 
that was not the way your father went," said 
Mr. S. "No," she rejoined, "it was not." 
" Then," said he, " you are wiser than your 
father;" and after some further remarks, he 

added, " The Lord has hold of you. Miss ." 

The next day she met him in the street, and 
asked permission to come to his class. He 
inquired the reason of her wish. With much 
emotion she replied, that his conversation the 
previous evening, had made an impression on 
her mind so deep, that she could not rest in 
her present state : — she was resolved, she said, 
to go to heaven the same way as her father. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. ^3 

She attended the class, and shortly afterwards 
entered into the enjoyment of the salvation of 
the gospel. 

In one of the country places of the Lincoln 
circuit, resided an aged man, who had employed 
the whole of his life in folly and sin. He was 
at length indisposed, and declined rapidly. 
In feet, it was manifest to himself and to 
those around him, that his race was nearly 
terminated.' Mr. Smith heard of him, was 
much affected by his condition, and resolved 
to visit him. When he entered the house, the 
old man was seated by the fire, bowed down 
by the united influence of infirmity and dis- 
ease, and looking anxious and disconsolate. 
Mr. S. in an elevated tone, abruptly exclaimed, 
" Well, you are going to die ! " " Yes," re- 
plied the other. " And then to hell ? " said 
Mr. Smith. " I suppose I am," was the answer. 
"Why you have been a great sinner!" — "I 
have been a very bad one, and I deserve hell," 
rejoined the aged transgressor. " But God 
will save you," added Mr. S. ; " come, let us pray 
about the matter." They had scarcely engaged 
in prayer for half an hour, before the old man 
obtained the pardon of all his sins. Filled 
with transport, and forgetfiil of his weakness, 
he went out and invited his neighbours to come 
in, and hear the wonderful tale of God's mercy 
to him. Mr. S. then commended him to the 



294 MEMOIRS OF THB 

* 

attentions of two pious persons, resident in the 
neighbourhood; and a little while afterwards, 
he had the satis&ction of hearing that he had 
died happy in the love of Grod. 

A respectable class leader of the Lincoln 
society, has supplied me with an account of a 
visit, which in the early part of this year he 
and Mr. Smith paid to a sick person ; and 
which, as somewhat resembling the preceding 
narration, is inserted in this place. The name 
of the individual was Cooke : he had been the 
engineer of a steam packet, and from what I 
can gather, a very profligate sinner. He ap- 
pears to have had some serious impressions 
firom the time that he was taken ill ; but these 
were matured and rendered indelible, by a 
dream which he had a few days before Mr. S. 
called on him. He imagined that he saw four 
of his children, who died in their infimcv. 
They appeared very beautifiil, and unspeak- 
ably happy. But when they past the foot 
of his bed, they assiuned a severe aspect, and 
looking frowningly on him, exclaimed, " Where 
we are, you can never come." He awoke in 
extreme agitation; strong convictions of sin 
seized upon him ; and his past life, in all its 
defilement and rebellion, rose in vivid array 
before his conscience. His medical attend- 
ant, finding him in great distress, begged Mr. 
Smith to visit him. When Mr. S« and his 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 295 

companion came into his room^ they found 
him half sitting up in bed, crying earnestly to 
God: — "Lord, have mercy upon my soul!" 
** Amen," said Mr« Smith. " Lord, save my 
soul ! " — " Amen ! " — " Just now extend thy 
mercy to me." — " Amen, my God ! " — " Canst 
thou pardon such a wretch as I am ? " " Oh 
man," cried Mr. S., " you are in a desperate 
condition; how long have you been thus?" 
The man told him, adding, "Sometimes I 
think God will save me, and at other times, 
it is suggested to me that there is no mercy for 
such a wretch." Mr. S. in his accustomed 
simple and forcible way, then expatiated on 
the love of God, the fulness of the atonement, 
and the infinite willingness of CJirist to save 
all who come to him. " Do you believe God 
is able to save you?" he inquired. The peni- 
tent replied in the affirmative. "Oh yes," 
said Mr. S., " he would much rather save than 
damn you. Come, let us pray." Having 
prayed himself, he called on his companion, 
and while the latter was engaged in interces- 
sion, he strove to induce the distressed sinner 
to cast his soul on Christ. " You deserve hell 
— ^you deserve hell," he said. "Hell is too 
good for me!" cried the other. "But glory 
be to God," continued Mr. Smith, "you are 
out of hell, and may still be kept out of it. 
Now try and pray for yourself." He did so. 



396 MEMOIRS OF THB 

Mr. S. at every interval urging him to take 
hold of the Lord Jesus. Hope began to beam 
on his mind; and his efforts for salvation 
became more resolute and confident. • Mr. S. 
kneeled once more, and wrestled with God in 
mighty agony, till the trembling penitent was 
enabled to cast himself fully on the atonement 
He then rose up in bed and cried, **I see 
him; — he died for me; — ^he is my Saviour, 
nailed to the cross for me and my salvation ;— 
I do beUeve in him; — ^yes, I do believe that 
God for Christ's sake has pardoned all my 
sins." His burden was all removed, and he 
united in singing the praises of that ^* God, 
from whom all blessings flow." He was after- 
wards partially restored to health ; but he still 
maintained his confidence, and for a short time 
walked worthy of his high calling. It then 
])leased God to take him to himself. — " Is not 
this a brand plucked out of the fire ? " 

But while Mr. Smith's labours in pubUc and 
private were thus attended by the prospering 
blessing of Heaven, his own constitution gra- 
dually gave way to exertions so dispropor- 
tionate to the critical state of his health. The 
duties of the Lincoln circuit, even as he foimd 
it, would probably, at this period of his life, 
have proved too severe for him, especially as 
at first, he had not many to co-operate in his 
plans: — ^but now, ' augmented as the societies 



REV, JOHN SMITH. 297 

'Were, and requiring as of course they did, 
increased attention and effort, no result could 
have rationally been anticipated, but that 
"which actually took place. It was with some 
difficulty that he was prevailed on to remain in 
the circuit a second year ; and when he at length 
consented, it was probably with the hope that 
the assistance of a third preacher, which it 
vras determined to call in, would afford him 
■some rehef. This however did not prove to 
be the case : the growing claims of country 
societies, which it was thought, had before 
been inadequately met, actually increased 
the proportion of labour assigned to each 
preacher. It is not for me to dispute the pro- 
priety of this arrangement. There are caseK 
in which, for the accomplishment of some 
great end, human life is deservedly held cheap, 
and the sacrifice of the most eminent men 
though for the moment deeply to be regretted, 
is in the event, amply compensated by the mag- 
nitude of the good which their death achieves* 
Whether the present was one of those cases, I do 
not take upon me to determine. Whether that 
consideration was shown to Mr. Smith, which 
so valuable a character deserved ; and- whether 
some sacrifices might not have been made, which 
would have tended to the prolongation of his • 
life, — are questions which I leave to the decision 
of those more fiilly informed on the subject. 

o 5 



298 IIEIfOIRS OF THS 

From the conference of 1830, Mr. S. fiie- 
quently found his public duties painfully op- 
pressive. His health continued to decBne, 
till it was past human remedy. Had he de- 
sisted from all exertion, some months before 
he was compelled to do so, there might h&te 
been a hope that he would have rallied again* 
But the die was cast ; the elasticity of Us 
constitution was destroyed, and that fatal and 
flattering distemper, which had before threat* 
ened him, was now to fix its envenomed and 
triumphant dart in his debilitated frame, to be 
no more withdrawn. Before however we t^^ 
minate the history of his public life, we must 
avail ourselves of the few remaining incidents 
or characteristics, which friendship ^ has gath- 
ered up, or which his own correspondence 
can supply; which however comparatively 
insignificant in themselves, become in their 
actual situation, unspeakably dear and afiect- 
ing, because — the last. Happy is the man, 
who knows not the volume of melancholy 
meaning comprised in this one word ! 

The conference of this year was held at 
Leeds. Mr. S. attended it, and preached se- 
veral times with much power and consider- 
able success. To one of these occasions he 
thus alludes in a letter to Mr. M^Dermott. 
" At the conference, one Tuesday morning, the 
floods came down. Many were pardoned;— 



REV. JOHN SMITH. . 399 

many were cleansed* At the glorious coming 
down of Jehovah, the noise of the people was 
as the sound of many waters. It required 
strong measures to get order, but it was se- 
cured, and God stayed and worked signally 
and clearly. His hand was seen and adored. 
He will stand by his own plan. His good 
pleasure is to save*'^ Finding however, that 
he was in danger of injuring himself at Leeds, 
he retired to Cudworth, before the conference 
concluded. Here he preached once, and several 
souls were given to his ministry. A gracious 
work began in the village &om this time. 
Writing to his father, a few months afterwards, 
he thus speaks on this subject : « The tidings 
of your prosperity at Cudworth gave me great 
pleasure. Only stick to the work, and then : — 
This is a mtist be. There should be no flagging : 
— in order to this, lengthened meetings generally 
should not be encouraged. If you mind, you may 
have a sweeping work this winter. — ^Try ! — " 

On the first Sunday that Mr. S. preached at 
Lincoln, after the conference, seven persons 
were converted to God; and in general, the 
circuit continued to present gratifying indica- 
tions of prosperity. At the September quar- 
terly meeting, sixteen hundred members were 
reported, being, — after all deficiences arising 
from deaths, apostacies, and removals, had 
been supplied, — about half as many again, « 



300 MEMOIRS OF THB 

twelve months before. Under the date of 
Sept. 24, Mr. S. thus \vrites to Mr. Calder, in 
reply to an invitation from the missionary com- 
mittee of Leeds. — " Such is the state of my 
health, thaf I must not leave my circuit fw 
some considerable time. Indeed at present I 
am taking rest. My vrindpipe is the failing 
instrument, and Mr. Harvey is trying his 

ability to mend it God is smiling upon us 

in this circuit still. Our people have stood 
well during the harvest; — a good omen this. 
Expectation too is rising. I suppose you will 
join with me in saying heartily, I am sure 
God will not fail. No ; it is the good pleasure 
of his goodness to save. Let us tate fast hold 
of God's good vnll to man. Strong exhibitions 
of the superabounding goodness of God do 
much execution, and desponding man needs 
them. I love you much, and I should like 
you to have much fruit. Give my kindest 
love to your sweet family. My heart warms 
with good wishes for them, and tears fill my 
eyes, while I am thinking of them. Thej'- are 
dear to me, as well as to you. Tell them so, 
— and that we must have them to love the 
Saviour. I forget not the kindness of Mrs. C. 
during the conference. My Christian love to 
her. Praying that God may hold you in his 
right hand, and employ you in saving many, 
many souls, I am," &c. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 301 

Shortly after this, Mr. S. spent some time 
at Nottingham, for the recovery of his health, 
and appeared to have derived much advantage 
from the change. In consequence of taking 
cold on his return, however, he was again laid 
aside. In a letter dated Oct. 22, he says, 
*' Ever since conference, I have been under 
my work. I have not been able to attend to 
it without considerable pain, almost continu- 
ally. At present I am taking rest. My body 
is sadly shaken, but I believe it will be re- 
paired again. God is doing us much good in 
the circuit. It is quite spring with us. Many 
labouring men have been made. Why do we 
dwell upon earth, but to get and diffuse God ? 
Appropriate labour always tells. Labour we 
must use. I intended being in London this 
month. But it is over: my health has inter- 
fered. An idle or a resting man I could not be 
in London. Safety is connected with staying 
at home. I have had to say 7^o, to, I should 
think, near twenty requests since conference, 
to visit other circuits. This has been painful, 
because God has used me in this way. I must and 
do submit. Much of the steel has been forced 
from my body: I still hope it -will harden." 

After passing a few weeks in rest at his 
native village, Mr. Smith returned to Lincoln, 
sufficiently recovered to resume his beloved 
employment. To his father he thus writes 



302 MEMOIRS OF THE 

immediately afterwards : — ** Dec. 10. You wiD 
be glad to learn that I got to Lincoln without 
taking any cold. I have taken mj fiill work 
ever since, except one sermon. Two soak 
fo\md peace on the first Simday evening at 
Lincoln, and I have had some very gracious 
seasons in the country: some good h^ been 
done. I stand my work better than I antici- 
pated, and I trust with care, that I shall be 
able to go through my labours with tolerable 
ease. I think I shall not do wrong to say, 
health, thou sweetener of the blessings of life, 
return and stay with me and mine ! But I 
can say, through mercy, as heartily, may all 
the dispensations of divine providence, be 
sanctified to me and mine ! — God is doing me 
much good ; and I mean to aim at his glory, 
and the salvation of souls. May I be favoured 
with his heavenly guidance! Amen.... A few 
weeks^ ago, two yoimg women came to see 
their sister at Skellingthorpe, and God con- 
verted them^ They went home, and requested 
permission to pray with their parents : convic- 
tion seized the mother; she came to see her 
daughter at S., and returned happy in God. 
The father came in great distress, and he also 
was set at happy liberty. A few months 
before, I saw the husband of the sister set at 
liberty. God, you see, is blessing famiUes. 
Glory be to him ! " 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 303 

In the spring of 1831, there was a slight 
improvement in Mr. Smith's health, and strong 
hopes were entertained, both by himself and 
others, that he would once more be fiiUy 
restored to his former v^our. Under the date 
of April 9, he thus writes to Mr. M'Dermott: 
^* — ^Your kindness to me has far exceeded 
mine to you. In many things you are formed 
to excel me. I know you will receive my 
recommendation tq siiig, 'Oh to grace, how 
great a debtor!' Through the tender mercy 
of our God, I and my family are at present in 
tolerable health. We have had some aiBic- 
tions, but thank God, they have given place 
to sweet rising health, which we receive from 
our Heavenly Father as no small good. Health 
and strength to labour, fit me well. I like 
labour in myself and others. God encourages 
it, and I think He should be able to fix his 
eyes upon it in his own world."— Then after 
having stated that one hundred and forty mem- 
bers were reported on trial at the preceding 
quarterly meeting, exclusive of many persons 
under" sixteen years of age, and that the circuit 
was in a state of great financial prosperity, — 
he adds, "Opposers of revivals are very un- 
wise. Salvation has its appurtenances. Let 
us get soids saved, and we shall not lack other 

things At P — we have a remarkable work. 

I was there six weeks ago. At the prayer 



:101f MEMOIRS OF THE 

meetinir, seven srot liberty. I was much con- 
ctmed for the familv that kindlv received and 
ent'jrtained me, and had been concerned for 
some time. Thev were not saved, and seemed 
far off. I was distressed in my closet next 
morning about them, and went to break£sist in 
a pensive mood, pondering and ponderii^ 
what to do. ^^^lile we were at break&st, the 
leader s wife came in and said, * Seven got 
liberty last ni^rht, and vour charwoman was 
one.' Mrs. S., — my hostess, — said, 'She saved! 
she is as much saved as I am!* I said no- 
thing. — The woman came in to break£tst, and 
after reading, I said, * Well, some say that yon 
got your sins forgiven last night, did you?'— 
* No, sir.' — ' Then you are not happy.' — ^ No, 
sir.' — * Do VDU wish to be saved ? ' — * Yes, 
sir." — * When ? ' — * Now, sir.' — ' Then God and 
you are agreed. Well, ^Irs. S., how long is 
God to wait for you ? ' — * I do not know, sir ; 
I do not think that either I or any body else 
can come to Ciod for salvation, unless some- 
thing particular come upon them.' * Of course, 
the fault is God's, then,' said I. * Now I 
assure you, you are \\Tong, for God would have 
saved you long ago. Your conduct is telling 
God that He is a liar. We must pray.' The 
charwoman and Mrs. S.'s daughter cried aloud 
for mercy. They soon f6und peace. * Now, 
Mrs. S., what will you do?' She shook as if 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 305 

B had four agues upon her, and cried for 
arcy, till God saved her. I then went to 
B master. He said he could not believe; I 
ayed : he then said, ' I can, I can believe/ 
e arose, and praised God for liberating the 
nr. I was at the place this week, and they 
: stand. I believe not fewer than fifty have 
en brought to God there, in a very* short 
lie. Upwards of twenty were saved that 
lek. Glory be to God !....! am going to 
>eds to-morrow week. Get your class to pray 
■ me." In a postscript, he mentions a love^ 
fit, which had recently been held at Lincoln, 
he fruits of which were about twenty souls 
rdoned or cleansed." 

3n the 17th of April, Mr. S. preached the 
liversary sermons for the Leeds old chapel; 
i on that occasion, his ministry was rendered 
slid to many of his congregation. In con- 
uence of traveUing on the outside of the 
ich on his return to Lincoln, he took a 
'ere cold. After a day's rest however, he 
nt into the country and preached. On the 
lowing evening, he attended a missionary 
eeting, and though unwell, enjoyed the op- 
jttunity exceedingly. On his road home, he 
^marked, " It was a blessed time ; the meet- 
ag was full of inspiration." Indeed every 
lung connected with Christian missions, was 
to him a subject of deep interest. He carried 



306 MEMOIRS OF THE 

to the platform, those strong and absorbiif 
principles, which in the pulpit he so succe» 
fiilly laboured to render prominent and impiei' 
sive ; and though his speeches had not usuaKf 
either the enhvenment of anecdote, or die 
sparkle of wit, they had what was fai hettxxt 
and more in consonance with his real character^ 
— the"^ gushing of intense compassion, — lk 
expression of mighty fjEiith, — ^and the accoi»- 
paniment of plentiful \mction. The topics ai 
which he commonly dwelt, were the naked 
deformity of heathenism, its avowed and aad^ 
cious defiance of God, with the fiilness of tk 
divine compassion, and the certainty of the 
triumph of Christ, as displayed and ensured h 
the promises of the scriptures. From th^ 
birth, his children were enrolled as subscribe 
to the missionary society; and it was pleasant 
to remark, how the first workings of their infiit 
compassion acquired direction and expansion 
from their father's conversation and habitSi 
A correct judgment of the spirit of a househdi 
may often be formed from the manners d 
children ; and it may exemplify the impressive- 
ness of Mr. Smith's principles to add, that 
one of his little girls when very young, — as if 
the range of human vice and sorrow had been 
too bounded for her benevolence, — was once 
overheard lisping her prayers for the salvation* 
of the arch enemy of God and man. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 307 

The above was the last missionary meeting 
Ifhich Mr. S. was ever permitted to attend. 
JCbe next day he found himself very unwell, 
p|ld for more than a week afterwards, did not 
Utempt any public duty. On Sunday, May 
iBtf however, he could not be dissuaded from 
mdeavouring to fulfil his appointment at Lin- 
fsolsx. He went from his bed to the chapel, at 
llie hour of the morning service, and in great 
iveakness and much pain, once more laboured 
lo enforce that comprehensive promise, on 
irldch he had often before expatiated with such 
pqiwer and success, — "A new heart also will 
I give you, and a new spirit wiU I put within 
fOVL ; and I will take away the stony heart out 
a£ your flesh, and I will give you a heart of 
fledb. And I will put my Spirit within you, 
and cause you to walk in my statutes, and 
ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.*** 
It was with the utmost difficulty that he 
|^IK>ceeded with his discourse ; and at its con- 
eliudon, he told the congregation that he felt 
iO ill as to be quite incapable of addressing 
them in the evening. He then closed the 
lervice, and retired from the pulpit. This was 
bis last sermon. 

• Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. 



308 MEMOIRS OF THE 



XV. 

LINCOLN— SHEFFIELD, &c. 1831. 

Several circumstances conspired to rendff 
the last six months of Mr. Smith's life, a so- 
son of severe trial. Debility and pain, to 
natural fortitude might have enabled him to 
have endured ; but to be cut off from his be- 
loved occupation, to be subject to the continual | 
alternations of hope and fear, and to have to 
contemplate the suspense and anxiety of * 
beloved wife, and of other dear friends, — this 
was indeed sorrow ! The painful interest of 
his present situation, to those who loved hinif 
can only be estimated by such as have watch- 
ed the desolating progress of disease, on the 
objects of their warmest regard, and have 
ultimately seen the tomb close on their hopes, 
and repel their assiduities. The singular ex- 
cellencies of him of whom we now write, of 
course gave an intensity to these emotions, 
which, in an ordinary case, could not have 
characterized them. It was under such an 
impression, that at the time of a former illness, 
his venerable father exclaimed,." Oh how glad 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 309 

should I be to die for thee ! " " For a good 
man, some would even dare to die." But no; 
the " good man " was now to endure his own 
suffering and privation ; and as he had before 
instructed others how to conflict " with spirit- 
ual wickedness in high places," and to keep 
themselves " unspotted from the world," — ^he 
was now to give the example of " suffering 
affliction with patience," and to teach us " how 
to die." 

The dealings of God with his people, in the 
last scenes of life, are very varied, and often not 
a little mysterious. Yet as a general rule, it 
may, I think, be remarked, that the abound- 
ing of divine consolation and joy, is in an 
inverse ratio to the strength of their faith. To 
those whose faith is weak, and whose piety 
generally is immature, it seems necessary, that 
there should be communicated an unusual 
degree of the comforts of the holy Ghost. 
Were the case otherwise, the solemnity of 
their situation, and the mystic awe of that state 
into which they are about to enter, would pro- 
bably so oppress their spirits, that it would be 
little less than a miracle, for them at all to 
maintain their confidence in God. Hence 
their minds are graciously withdrawn from 
those overwhelming contemplations, to which 
they would otherwise naturally revert, and 
they are often so filled with the joy and tri- 



310 MEMOIRS OF THE 

umph of hope, as to forget every thing but tk 
glory, which in its fuhiess, is about to beI^ 
vealed in them. They earnestly desire to 
depart and to be with Christ. How manyiDi' 
stances can those recall, who are fiEoniliar vi& 
the sick chamber and the death bed, — of ioi 
viduals, who though " all their life time subjetf 
to bondage,'* through the fear of death, ban 
at last gone down to the grave, not mei^ 
without a cloud, but with the effiilgi^ce d 
heaven beaming on their spirits! Nor ii it 
too much to imagine, that this merdM i^ 
rangement is iatended, not solely for the ad- 
vantage of the dying saint himself, but partly 
also, for the solace and encouragement of sll^ 
vivors. God thus removes from the minds of 
bereaved friends, that bitterest aggravation of 
their sorrow, — uncertainty as to the final des- 
tiny of those whom they mourn. At the same 
time, He thus declares to the church, not Gok 
that He will not break " a bruised reed," m 
quench " the dimly burning flax," but that, ia 
the case of those who have tremblingly but 
sincerely cast themselves on the atonement, 
He will " send forth judgment " to final, certain, 
and triumphant " victory." 

On the other hand, there are saints, to whom 
these extraordinary communications are not 
necessary. As therefore there is always a fit- 
ness, without profusion, in the divine dispen- 



REV. JOHN SMITH.. 311 

tatioiis, such persons spend their last hours in 
vthat elevated cahnness^ which has usually 
ehaxacterized their Christian experience, with- 
out the glow of feeling and the singular joy 
which God vouchsafes to some others. Nay, 
not unfrequently the enemy carries the battle 
•to the gate. They have conflicts, sharp and 
severe, even to the close of life ; nor are they 
permitted to exchange the shield of faith for 
the garment of conquest, till it has again and 
again quenched darts of the wicked one, more 
thickly multiplied, and more fiercely fiery, 
than were ever before hurled at. them. But 
death to them has long lost his terror, and he 
cannot now re-invest himself with it : in a less 
mature period of their experience, eternity was 
the object of their unmixed hope, and it can- 
Hot now be viewed with apprehension ; — they 
are more than conquerors, through Him who 
hath loved them. No assurance of their final 
safety, is required by their surviving friends or 
by the church, beyond the fidelity and eleva- 
tion of the piety of their lives : and even if 
they be cut off* suddenly, if they "die and 
make no sign," there is nothing of saddening 
uncertainty cast over the minds of those, who 
knew and loved them on earth, and who still 
remember and bewail them. The ill-manned, 
crazy, and scarce sea-worthy bark must have 
daylight and fair weather, to enable her to get 



312 MEMOIRS OF THE 

into the harbour ; but the gallant fidgate, with 
a crew of practised hands and unconquerable 
hearts, under the direction of an unerring pilot, 
with her guns bristling Irom her decks, and 
the invincible flag nailed to her mast, may 
successfully attempt the entrance, in the daik- 
ness of midnight, >vith a swelling sea, and in the 
face of an enemy.* 

Mr. Smith's experience, during his last affli^ 
tion, appears to have been marked by consi- 
derable variety. He had no fears of death, no 
apprehensions of eternity; but he had seasons 
of strong conflict. Nor was he privileged by 
those revelations which have often shed un- 
speakable rapture on the souls of inferior 
Christians, in the like circmnstances. His 
vspirit generally rested with calm confidence 
in God, and more than this was not necessary, 
either to himself or his friends. None who 

* Since the above was written, I have met with a remait 
of the celebrated Arnauld, which ilhistrates the same sub- 
ject in a somewhat diflerent "^ay. "He used often to say," 
it is remarked by the authoress of the Select Memmn (f 
Pcyrt Rayalj "that the death-bed of young converts is 
generally most bright ; because their newly acquired sense 
of the mercy of God, in some sort dazzles their ej^es from 
steadily beholding his holiness ; " and he mostly added, 
* the experienced Christian has too solid a view of the 
mercy of God in Christ, not to rejoice ; but he has too 
exalted views of the holiness of God, not to rejoice wiA 
trembling.' " Memoirs, vol. i. p. 244. 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 313 

knew him, could entertain any anxiety as to 
his final safety : " that was settled ; " and had 
he, like the venerahle Bramwell, been suddenly 
snatched away, all our mourning for him 
would have been mingled with " sure and cer- 
tain hope." In his actual state of mind, how- 
ever, he was fully alive to whatever aggrava- 
tions of afiliction his circumstances might 
present; and I cannot but allude to the anxiety 
which he felt respecting the Lincoln circuit, 
as one which, it is to be feared, tended mate- 
rially to increase the virulence of his disease. 
Some of his appointments were kindly supplied 
by local preachers ; but no arrangements were 
made, by which the claims of the country 
societies could be regularly and permanently 
met. This was to Mr. S. a source of con- 
tinual imeasiness, at a time when it was of the 
last importance that his mind and body should 
be kept in a state of the most perfect quietness. 
Whether such a. provision could have been 
made, my acquaintance with the subject does 
not enable me to determine. I can only state 
the fact, and that I do with a regret, as deep as 
it is unavailing. 

Mr. Smith's disease in the first place, was 
an affection of the mucous membrane of the 
windpipe: it terminated in real and rapid 
pulmonary consumption. No complaints pro- 
bably, are more fluctuating, than disorders of 

p 



314 MEMOIRS OF THE 

the lungs, and of the adjacent organs : none 
so frequently excite hope, nor so certainly 
blast it. Nothing, it is well known, is more 
conunon than for patients labouring under 
them, even to the last few days of their lives, 
to suppose that they are actually amending; 
and it vnll not therefore appear surprising, 
that the subject of these pages cherished the 
hope of recovery, to a period which, in another 
case, might have appeared irrational. Yet his 
was not a selfish love of life. K he spoke with 
earnest desire of the removal of disease, it was 
that he might prosecute the great work of 
saving souls ; and with a mind unchanged by 
weakness, and unsubdued by pain, he main- 
tained " the ruling passion strong in death." 

The following is an extract from a letter 
written by him, to his friend Mr. Herbert of 
Nottingham, soon after he terminated his pub- 
lic labours.—" May I2y 1831.— Oh sir ! I did 
myself and you vn:ong, in not uttering my 
thoughts and feelings to you, on the death of 
your sweet little Anne. My mind was com- 
pletely thrown to you; it lingered with you. 
I wept, I prayed for you, and, strange to say, 
I rejoiced. I said, Well, he has another at- 
traction in heaven. — These strong and pensive 
feelings gave way to something, which I do 
not now remember, and what I had fancied a 
letter, never reached you. Forgive me. De- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 315 

fectiveness seems to be a constituent of my 
character, and mixes itself prominently with 
my proceedings. Little fineness of spirit comes 

out of me What a blessed thing it is to 

have fast hold of God's concern to save man ! " 

In the beginning of Jime, the district meet- 
ing was held at Homcastle. It was to be 
preceded by the missionary anniversary, in the 
services connected with which, it had been 
arranged, that Mr. S. should have taken some 
part. This of course was impracticable, and 
without doubt, it would have been prudent for 
him to have avoided every species and degree 
of excitement. His wish to meet his brethren 
once more, however, was so strong, that he 
could not be prevailed upon to absent himself 
from the district meeting. On Tuesday, June 3, 
therefore, he left home; but when he arrived 
at Homcastle, he found himself so extremely 
unwe*ll, that after a day's rest, he returned to 
Lincoln. He had taken a fresh cold; his 
cough was very much increased; he laboured 
under an almost insupportable languor, and on 
the whole, his symptoms were much more 
alarming than at any previous period of his 
ilhiess. Besides the medical gentleman who 
ordinarily attended him, a physician was now 
called in, who however held out very encou- 
raging assurances of his recovery. To Mr. 
Herbert, June 8, he thus writes : — ** The doc- 

p2 



316 .MEMOIRS OF THE 

tors pronounce me improving. But I am low. 
When I shall resume my labour is quite un- 
certain." — And then, as if forgetful of his own 
critical condition, he adds, " Go on, man ! God 
is with you. He will be with you to the end, 
and I hope to hail you on the banks of the river, 
and with you sing of salvation," &c. 

About this time Mr. S. was seized with 
violent inflanunation of the passage leading to 
the limgs. The most decisive measures were 
immediately resorted to. Forty leeches were 
apphed to the chest, and were succeeded by 
cupping glasses, and a large bUster. These 
with the use of calomel internally, produced 
the desired effect; and Mr. S. began again 
slowly to amend. To his fether he thus writes, 
June 14 : — " I am still ill, but have a turn for 

the better I am in the hands of God ; — good 

hands! He is with me, giving me peace and 
rest of soul, and a hope that in a while, X shall 
make known with power, his will to the sons 
of men. I thank you for your prayers." July 1, 
writing to the same, he says, — " I am yet 
on the shelf; — an awkward place for me ; but 
perhaps it is the best place for me. God 
knoweth. I wish his vdll to be done. His 

will is best I think our circuit is in a good 

state, from accounts at our quarterly meeting. 
Thanks be to God." In reference to his next 
year's appointment, he remarks, "What God 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 317 

ynl\ do with me, I know not, nor am I anxious 
about it. All will be well." This was Mr. 
Smith's last letter to his parents. 

Yet although he himself was happily deliv- 
ered from anxiety, it became a question of 
interest, whether he would be able to under- 
t^tke the regular labours of a circuit, after the 
approaching conference. Through a consider- 
able part of the month of July, his health so 
obviously improved, that he was himself very 
sanguine on the subject. His medical attend- 
ants also, upon being consulted, stated that if 
he would submit to be perfectly quiet for a 
short time longer, and spend a few weeks at 
the sea side ; the southern part of the kingdom 
they particularly recommended, — it was pro- 
bable, by the time his services were required, 
that he would be quite fit for the duties of an 
ordinary circuit. This of course was very 
cheering; and Mr. S. proposed immediately 
to set oJBT for Brighton. To this step there 
were several objections. The distance was 
considerable. — Mrs. S. was in circumstances 
which rendered it impracticable that she should 
attend her husband ; and most of all, it was 
to be feared, that in Brighton he would be 
peculiarly liable to excitement, and exposed 
to temptations, to exertion, — as indeed the 
.sequel unhappily proved. All these objections 
however were over-ruled, and on Friday, 



318 MEMOIRS OF THE 

July 15, Mr. S. left Lincolii. Upon his arrival 
at Brighton, he thus wrote to Mrs. S. : " More 
than half of my journey to London, I stood 
well, but the rest was attended with subduing 
weariness. I however arrived safe, and had a 
few hours' sleep at Mr. M*D's. I was so 
unwell on Sunday, as not to allow of my going 
to chapel. On Monday, for ease and safety, I 
started for Brighton: — ^there would have been 
no end to talking, &e. My journey outside 
the coach greatly refreshed me. But I still 
feel the effects of the overcoming weariness. 
I took a warm bath yesterday, which produced 
a powerfiil effect on my shoulders, &c. I 
rather confidently expect much good from 
bathing; but I must give it a fair trial. I 
intend to bathe every other day.** In his 
second letter to the same, dated July 28, he 
says, " I am, I think, substantially better. My 
cough is greatly mitigated, — I sleep better; — 
my appetite is tolerable, and I can walk pretty 
well; but I perceive that strength comes 
but slowly. — I have had some difficulty in 
escaping danger from visitors. I am obliged 
to be rather rough, but it is a must be. One 
soul has been saved, and another cleansed; 
yet it rather shook me. I have made a stand, 
such as I know you would applaud, if you 
knew all about it. I am rather singularly beset, 
almost wherever I go." 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 319 

I know not how my readers may be affected 
in perusing the foregoing lines, but to me they 
are unspeakably melancholy. I do not at any 
time, claim for Mr. Smith the praise of pru- 
dence respecting his own health ; there can be 
no doubt, indeed, that he was a self-sacrificed 
man. But was there now no one near him, 
who had friendship enough to lay upon him, 
in God's name, the strong arm of restraint? 
When he was at home, he was forbidden even 
to conduct the femily worship. His only 
chance of life was in his being kept perfectly 
still. Exertion was suicide ; and to many of 
his friends besides myself, it must ever be 
matter of deep regret, that at every risk, he 
was not at this time, shut out from all excite- 
ment, and compelled to remain in complete 
retirement. The results of his imprudence 
soon showed themselves. In his third and 
last communication to his &mi1y from Brighton^ 
he says, — " Some time ago, I was looking 
forward with pleasing anticipation, to the time 
when we should again be placed in a circuit, 
and I resume my labours. But last week, a 
dreadful bowel complaint seized me, devoured 
my strength, and reduced me to feebleness 
itself. It seemed to have subsided, and I fan- 
cied health was again springing : but a second 
slight attack dashed my hopes to the ground. 
I was so perplexed in my mind respecting my 



3^ MEMOIRS OF THE 

appointment, that if possible, to get something 
like satisfaction, I consulted Dr. King, an 
eminent physician in Brighton. He seems to 
understand my case well; and he says that 
there is no chance for the recovery of my 
health, unless I abstain from all vocal exertion 
in preaching and praying, and as much as 
possible, in conversation, for at least three 
months. I am now attending to his prescrip- 
tion, and have already derived some benefit, 
I. think. But I am exceedingly weak. I have 
communicated these tidings to Mr. Clegg. I 
expect to sit down. I have requested to be 
put down for Sheffield, that I may have 
opportunities of breathing my native air, and 
consulting Dr. Dawe. I intend leaving Brigh- 
ton next Tuesday or Wednesday, and, God 
willing, seeing you at the close of next week. 
Hanging upon Jesus, and commending you 
and the children to his sympathy and care, 
I am," &c. 

In accordance with the wishes of the friends 
in that circuit, Mr. Smith was appointed by 
the conference to Sheffield East, as an effective 
man, with the hope that a short time would 
render him actually such. He left Brighton, 
as he proposed, on Tuesday, August 9, and 
after resting in London, Northampton, and 
Nottingham, he arrived in Lincoln on the 
Saturday of the same week. As he passed 



REV, JOHN SMITH. 321 

through Nottmgham, his friends were deeply 
affected by the alteration in his appearance. 
He was pale, emaciated, and oppressed by 
extreme debility; and they too certainly fore- 
boded that they should see his face no more. 
On the day he spent there, a large party, 
among whom were the preachers, dined at his 
friend Mr. Herbert's. Mr. S. overcome with 
langour, was reclining on the sofa, when the 
Rev. H. S. Hopwood, then superintendent of 
the circuit, who had for some time been sub- 
ject to sudden attacks of a disease which he 
every day expected to prove fatal, — said to 
him, " Whether do you think, you or I will go 
first ? Shall we either of us live till next con- 
ference?" Mr. S., with that deceitful hope 
so characteristic of his complaint, replied, that 
his constitution was not yet broken up, and 
that he expected that he should recover. He 
died about a fortnight before Mr. Hopwood. 

After resting at Lincoln for a few days, Mr. 
S. and his family removed to Sheffield. He 
bore the journey better than had been anti- 
cipated. " When he arrived in Sheffield," says 
the Rev. Alex. Strachan, of Barnsley, "the 
disease imder which he had for some time 
laboured, — a disease unquestionably induced by 
extraordinary exertion, — ^had made a deep im- 
pression on his constitution. The friends in 
Sheffield, believing that should ^e remain there, 

p 5 



322 MEMOIRS OF THE 

it would be impossible to restrain him £rom 
public and active duties, and justly infening 
firom his extreme debility, that the least exer- 
tion would not only extinguish all rational ho^ 
of ultimate recovery to health, but also speedily 
terminate his life, kindly urged upon him the ne- 
cessity of retiring into the country, to his father's 
house at Cudworth, where he was likely to 
derive benefit from his native air, and to enjoy 
uninterrupted repose. In this instance, he 
yielded to the wishes of his friends, and I had 
the pleasure^ of seeing him at his father's on the 
morning of Sunday, Auguist 28, 1831. I found 
him in bed, apparently inclined to sleep, and 
but the shadow of what he had been. He 
instantly recognized me and sat up. But, alas! 
the keen glance of his eye, and the bold expres- 
sion of his countenance were gone. The eyes 
were dim and deep in their sockets, while the 
face was exceedingly thin and pallid. *My 
dear brother,* said he, ' since we last met, I 
have experienced the goodness and severity of 
God : but in patience I have possessed my soul. 
You are expected to preach here this evening; 
may God come with you ! Oh how I should 
rejoice to lift up my voice once more in the 
sanctuary of my God, but you see that I am 
confined here as his prisoner. Well, God is 
with me, and I must not complain. The sin- 
ners of this village have been much upon my 



R£V. JOHN dMiTH. 32S 

mind, ever since I obtained mercy myself; and 
wherever I have been stationed, they have had 
an interest in my prayers. The time to fiivour 
them is surely come. May maay of them 
receive the message of salvation which you are 
come to deUver.' After proposing several ques- 
tions relative to the state both of his body and 
his mind, to all which he replied with his usual 
frankness and candour, I prayed with him. In 
prayer, I expressed strong confidence in the 
sufficiency of Christ's atonement to justify the 
ungodly, who beheve in him— in the wilKngness 
of God to sauctify the unholy who continue in 
the jEaith — ^in the competency of providence and 
grace to preserve the soul, thus sanctified, 
* blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
CJhrist,' and concluded with especial reference 
to his condition. During prayer, he frequently 
said, " Glory be to God! ' but when I was rising 
from my knees, he gave free utterance to the 
strong and lively feelings which he had been 
endeavouring to suppress. He took up the 
above topics, and enlarged upon them in the 
most animated manner." 

To Mrs. S., who, by femily circumstances, 
was compelled to remain at Sheffield, he ad- 
dressed a short note, August ^, in which he 
says, " Dr. Dawe and Mr. Hare came yesterday, 
and very minutely examined my lungs. The 
doctor rather exultingly said, *A11 is right.' 



324 MEMOIRS OF THE 

You will unite with me in thankfiilness for this. 
I said, ^ But I fear the membrane is terriU; 
diseased.' He replied, * Never mind, we will 
j)ut it to rights.' The blister on my throat has 
done its work well. Let us look to Jesus." 

Mr. Smith's mind, at this time, seems to hate 
Ikvu in a state of delightful tranquillity. He 
was filled with grateful resignation to the wiS 
of God ; and though his sufferings were often 
verj' severe, no murmur or complaint ever 
escaped his lips. The attentions of bis Mends 
he acknowledged with peculiar sweetness; and 
the whole of his piety exhibited a mellowness 
and maturity, which seemed like the pluming 
of the angel-wing of his spirit, for the r^on 
into which he was about to enter. The day 
after liis arrival at Cudworth, he was espedallj 
happy. He said to his friends, " If the Lord 
have a little more work for me to do, and I 
think he has, I shall be restored to my family 
and the church of God ; " adding, " What bless- 
ed lessons have I learned in this afliiction!" 
The word of God became increasingly dear to 
him; his soul seemed to long for its blessed 
truths, iis a parched land for the refireshing 
shower. The scriptures, he used to say, were 
the tlnni of his soul. On one occasion, he ex- 
pivssixl himself as peculiarly delighted with 
the tirst chapter of St. Peters first epistle, 
sister had just r^ad to him. " Oh," 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 325 

5C he remarked, " the word of God is such a com- 
}| fort to me! " Then observing his mother weep- 
^i iag, he said, " Mother, why do you weep ; all 
r^ k right : praise the Lord ! " At another time, 
jjl when in severe suffering, she exhorted him not 
^f to be so anxious about Recovery, but to yield 
ji himself iully into the hands of God. " Bless 
,}ithe Lord," he replied, "I have done that; I 
i,^ still give myself to Him : He is my portion." 
g' Often in the night, — ^for he was very wake- 
ji fill, — the voice of his thanksgiving sounded 
J. sweetly through the house ; and many were 
^ the seasons of delightftd intercourse with 
I Heaven, which he and his pious father enjoyed 
J while others slept. — His soul dwelt in the re- 
pose of love and peace. In his experience, 
^ there was nothing of the tumult of rapture; 
there were none of those bursts of ecstatic joy, 
of which we sometimes hear in such cases. 
J And herein, we cannot but recognize the ar- 
j Tangement of divine wisdom. In the scenes 
J of active life, his principles and labours had 
often been deemed extravagant. He was now 
I cut off, not only from all external, but also 
from all internal excitement. There was no- 
thing to interrupt the calm examination, the 
sober deliberate testing of his personal experi- 
ence, and his methods of exertion in the 
church. Had his principles been unsound, 
they now would have certainly failed him. In 



326 MEMOIRS OF THE 

the severe scrutiny of the hours of sickness, 
and of ebbing life ; when all that tends to waip 
the judgment is done away, and with no ex- 
traordinary revelation of ravishing joy to with- 
draw his thoughts from the subject, he was 
qualified more fully thjn at any former period, 
to form a calm and candid opinion of his past 
life, and to afford to those who questioned the 
correctness of his views, the most dedsiYe 
evidence which the nature of the case would 
admit. But he never wavered; no shade of 
suspicion that he had been wrong, appears ever 
to have darkened his spirit. On the contrary, 
he distinctly mentioned those opinions and 
modes of action in which he had been con- 
sidered singular, as subjects which at this time, 
called forth his special gratitude to God. They 
had before proved themselves practically bene- 
ficial, and they now not only could bear a 
dispassionate review, but proved also sources 
of consolation in weakness, in suffering, and in 
death. 

" On my return to Cudworth a fortnight after 
my first visit," Mr. Strachan remarks, ** he in- 
formed me, that during my absence, he had been 
alternately better and worse in health ; elevated 
and depressed in mind ; but that for several days 
past, his strength and spirits had returned in a 
surprising degree, and that a short time, he be- 
lieved, would complete his recovery, and enable 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 3^ 

him to resume his labours in the pulpit. His 
appearance certainly indicated a change for 
the better ; but it was equally evident, that the 
wound which his general health had received, 
was too deep to be healed in so short a time 
as he supposed. I expressed a doubt as to his 
ultimate recovery, and asked him how he could 
reconcile the extreme anxiety which he felt, 
in reference to the final issue of his affliction, 
with that perfect submission to the divine will 
which he professed to enjoy. He replied, ^ I 
have many reasons for wishing to regain my 
former strength, but none weighs with me so 
much, as a desire to improve the opportunity 
that would thus be afforded for saving souls,'' 
He then remarked on the various methods 
adopted by the mercy of God? to bring sinners 
to repentance; illustrating these methods by 
examples that had come within the range of his 
own observation. He described some of the 
plans which he himself had employed to revive, 
extend, and perpetuate religion among the 
people in the different circuits in which he had 
travelled : exalting, however, above all prudent 
tial means, the ministry of God's word and 
meetings for social prayer. On another occasion, 
he gave me a brief narrative of his experience, 
from the commencement of his Christian pro- 
fession ; from which it appeared, that his path 
had been ^as the shining light, that shineth 



328 MEMOIRS OF THE 

more and more unto tlie perfect day.' He 
alluded with peculiar emotion to the time of 
his admission into full connexion, at the LondoD 
conference in 1822. ' It ¥ras/ he said, ' a time 
never to be forgotten. I look back with great 
satisfisiction, I assure you, on the entire sur- 
render which I then made of myself to Grod 
This act of self dedication is well described in 
those comprehensive and expressive lines : — 

* Take my soul and body's powers. 
Take my memory, mind, and wiD ; 
All my goods, and all my hoars, 
All I know, and all I feel ; 
All I think, or speak, or do ; 
Take my heart, — ^but make it new ! ' 

From that day to this, I have been enabled to 
serve God >\'ithout fear. Return unto thy rest, 
O my soul ; for the Lord hath dealt bounti£ullT 
with thee. On that evening,' continued he, 
* a remark was made by one of the younf 
men, which produced a deep impression upoi 
my mind, and has been of immense importance 
to me. Brother S., in describing the manner 
of his justification, observed, that while wrest- 
ling with God for the pardon of sin, he obtained 
such clear and believing perceptions of the 
atonement of Christ, as constrained him to ex- 
claim : — ' O God, if all the sins of all the in- 
dividuals in the world were charged to my 
account, here is a foimtain in which I could wash 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 329 

iikem all away in an instant. With these words 
ike Spirit presented before my mind the atone- 
»ent of Christ, in aU its infinitude of merit and 
'pfficacy, and filled my soul with the love of God.' 

" While conversing, one day, — on the neces- 
)lity of constant communion with God, in order 
la our personal happiness and the success of 
ihe ministry,— the difficulty of discharging, with 
woiformity and fidelity, the important duties 
of self-examination and self-denial — our prone- 
ness to lukewammess and self-deception — I 
used an expression [inadvertently of course] 
which conveyed to his mind the idea that I 
doubted the sincerity of his motives, and the 
aoundness of his faith. He took no notice of 
it at the time, but afterwards, while engaged 
in prayer, I happened to use the same ex- 
piefHion, when he rose up, and with one of 
those piercing looks which he always assumed 
wiien under excitement, said, 'Lord, thoU 
knowest all things, and thou knowest that I 
love thee. Living and dying, I am thine. Were 
I to depart now, I should go to glorious happi- 
ness. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is 
fixed : I will sing and give praise.* After paus- 
ing for a few moments, he said, 'My dear 
brother, as I felt a little drowsy at the time, 
and heard you indistinctly, it is possible that I 
misunderstood you.' 

" Returning from the country one Sunday 



330 MEMOIRS OF THE 

evening, I called, and found him very feeble,' 
but sitting by the parlour fire, and truly 'in 
the Spirit on the Lord's day.* Numenw 
friends had visited him in the course ft 
the day, some of whom he &ithAilly warnei 
to flee from the wrath to come, and othe* 
he exhorted not to rest satisfied without *i 
clean heart.' We imited in prayer, and fil 
it good to wait upon the Lord. Soon after 
I left, his father arrived from a neighbouring 
village, where he had been preaching. "While 
engaged in family worship, their expectations 
were raised, and their feith wonderfully strengdh 
ened, so that the service was prolonged, and 
each person present pleaded for some special 
manifestation of God's condescension and lovft 
In a short time their prayers were turned to 
thanksgivings and hallelujahs. It seemed as 
if they had been suddenly * raised up together, 
and made to sit together in heavenly places! 
Christ Jesus,' or that the fuU tide of heavei^ 
glory was poured forth upon their souls. Ifc. 
Smith, mentioning these circumstances, when 
we met, observed, that on that night, he believed 
that the sanctifying power of Grod penetrated 
every part of his nature, expelled every d^ree 
of evil, and filled him with perfect love." 

I subjoin extracts from his two last letters 
to Mrs. S. " Sept. 19. — During the last wedf, 
I was somewhat alarmed by a rather violent 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 331 

^attack of inflammation in my left lung. Leeches 
tlrere applied without giving me any relief at 
e* all : but the application of blistering ointment, 
^ which worked mightily, has caused it to retire, 
|«nd enabled me to breathe freely, without any 
Pjpain in my chest, except what is occasioned 
[Ay the prodigious soreness of the outside. 
fCHory be to God ! — ^This morning, the glorious 
light of the sun caused the fields, — ^whicfe I 
',Muld see as I lay in bed, — to smile, and the 
sounds produced by the cattle, were such 
tousic in my ears, as I have not heard for a 
very long time. When the doctor was last 
liere, I saw from his manner, that he believed 
me to be much better. I expect he will begin 
to build me up immediately ; I have great con- 
fidence in his skill, and God's blessing upon 
iti The prayers of God's dear people are an 
inherrtance to me. May His abundant bless- 
ing be poured upon them, for their kindness 
to me and mine ! God signally blesses me in 
way soul. Prayer is offered up here for you, my 
dear, and for the family ; and it will continue 
to be offered up» Do not droop, my dear. 
Despondency bites the body. Look steadily 
at our kind, and loving, and chastising Father. 
He will help you. I feel much for you. Give 
my love to the children, and tell them it will 
help to make me better, if they are good, and 
I hear of it." 



332 MEMOIRS OF THE 

" Sept. 24. — My dear Ellen, — I invite yott 
to join me in giving warm thanks to the hlessed 
God, for his great kindness to me. This is the 
third day I have been down stairs, and I am 
much better to-day, than on either of the pre- 
ceding [days.] The doctor was here yest» 
day, and seemed very much pleased with of 
state. I said, ^ Sir, I feel it is life from d* 
dead.' * Bless the Lord, O my soul!' Tb 
Lord has blessed me exceedingly in bodyaai 
in soul. He has again and again richly bap- 
tized me with his blessed and Holy Spirit, and 
called forth from me songs of thanksgiving. I 
have had some most delightfrd seasons, in 
thinking on his most blessed word. It is ex 
ceedingly sweet to my taste. I shall be more 
a Bihle man. My dear, we must unite in 
giving ourselves to God, and his good word, 
and He will help us in this. We must try to 
have every room in our house perfumed vA 
God. We will be ftdly His. I long to ex- 
hibit and offer to the dear people in the Shef" 
field circuit, the salvation of God. Well, ^t 
a little and then ! — Hallelujah to God and the 
Lamb ! Amen. My heart warms while I am 
writing, with love to God, and universal love 
to man. Do you not catch a little of the holj 
flame, my dear ? — God will restore comforts to 
many who have mourned for me. Give mj 
kind love to my beloved colleagues. My lovely 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 333 



children, tell father loves them much, and it 
will give him great pleasure to leam that they 
ire good." 

Yet while Mr. S. was thus hopefully antici- 
pating his recovery, as indeed were his firiends 
also, his disease was actually making rapid 
progress. A few days after the foregoing was 
pmtten, hectic fever fixed on his brain; and 
irith some short intervals, he was for several 
Mreeks afterwards, under the influence of deh- 
riiim or stupor. The following memorandum 
WBS written about this time, and betrays, as 
the reader will perceive, a slight wandering of 
xiind. The manuscript gives affecting evi- 
dence of the writer's physical weakness. It is 
blurred and blotted; the handwriting is very 
tremulous, and many of the words are mis-spelt. 
Yet there is in it a glow of feeling, not un- 
worthy the last literary act of a right hand, 
which, was about for ever to "forget its cun- 
aing." I give it entire, only correcting the 
3rrors in orthography, &c. — 

"In my dear and honoured father's house, 
%t Cudworth near Barnsley, about a yard and 
SI half fi:om the spot where God, in his end- 
less mercy, set my soul at gospel liberty, and 
adopted me into his heavenly family; — ^having 
just recovered from a painful and protracted 
afiiiction, by the skill of Dr. Dawe, and his 
assistant, Mr. Hare ; — I feel exceedingly grate- 



334 MEMOIRS OF THE 

fill to both of them, for their prompt, constasti 
and kmd attention to me, during my stay A 
Cudworth for the good of my health. — 

^' Never had I so penetrating* [a sense] d 
the importance of an over-ruling and bemefi* 
cent Providence superintending, directing, all 
controlling all things among the sons ai 
daughters of men, for the honour of his ad» 
able name, which is a strong tower, inli 
which the righteous runneth and is safe. Ue 
upspring and spontaneous language of nj 
heart is that of the Psalmist, Ps. ciii. 1, and 
that of Isa., cb. xii., also of Mr. C. Wesley's 
hymns on the 322nd, 358th, and 360th pages 
of the large hymn book used in our chapels; 
and finally, of all who have been brought ont 
of deep and bitter waters, restored to the 
bosom of a most lovely and beloved fainily» 
with the delightful anticipation of being bettff 
fitted for God's good service. I wish to k 
eminently a minister of the Spirit. ChiiA 
says, ^ Without me ye can do nothing :' abo^ 
^ It is the Spirit that quickeneth : the flesh 
profiteth nothing.' Well; ^I will circumcise 
thy heart :' — ' Ask, and ye shall receive, that 
your joy may be full.' — ^ If ye then being evil,' 
&c. — 'What things soever ye desire,' &c.— 
* But let them ask in faith,' &c. 

" I purpose visiting Leeds, Nottingham, and 
Northampton, — partly, on business ; partly, for 



I 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 385 

stablishing of my health, and finally, for 
gratification of conversing with some of 
^^cellent of the earth, on divine subjects ; 
^^ spirits may be refi*eshed together; 
* uiey may see the exceeding and aboimd- 
I kindness of the blessed God, to one of the 
^ Unworthy, worthless, and unfeithful crea- 

In 

^^ong the progeny of man; but one 

^ the Triime God is intensely concerned 

** ^th a present, a firee, a fiill, and ever- 

^alvation, in sharing in his own inef- 

^d endless bliss, in his eternal heaven. 

^ god like unto our God? None in 

upon earth; who has set his heart 

and manifested his intense interest, 

resent, constant, and everlasting hap- 

ought, and must, and will fill angels 

with delightful astonishment, admira- 

ii gratitude, through endless ages. 

"^ ^ to the ever blessed and Triime God, 

^nd for ever ! Amen and Amen. So says 

' ^^nith, from the very bottom of his heart, 

^ warm with imiversal love, love to 

^>id universal man. It is the deep, and 

^ and he trusts and hopes, will be the 

^t and lasting wish of his heart, to get 

Xfiuse as much of God in the world as he 

Who is sufiicient for these things? No 

^ut the man whom God fits for the busi- 

But nothing is too hard for the omni- 



336 MEMOIRS OF THE 

potent God, who has promised to be with 
them that seek to promote his glory upon 
earth. I will try for one, by the help of God. 
May I be graciously helped by divine strength, 
without which, all human efforts, however 
splendid and conspicuous, must be for ever in 
vain. My trust is in a promise keeping Go! 
whom I wish to adore and enjoy through end- 
less ages. I hope and wish to adore among 
angels, and archangels, and all the redeemed 
of the Lord. This glorious consummation, I 
ardently long to be realized. May God put 
forth his strength ! — " 

Mr. Smith's state was now so alarming, that 
it was thought necessary to send for Mrs. S. 
She was deeply affected to find him in a 
condition of so extreme weakness, both of 
body and mind. When she went to his bed- 
side, consciousness revived for a moment, and 
with a smile illuminating his still expressive 
countenance, he said, " This is what I have 
long wished to see." Upon being asked if he 
knew who it was, he repUed, " Yes, it is my 
dear wife." He immediately relapsed into 
stupor, and it was nearly a week before he 
was again sensible. He then expressed some 
anxiety about his dear children, and begged 
Mrs. S. not to protract her stay. On the day 
following, therefore, she returned to Sheffield. 
During nearly the whole of his delirium, he 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 337 

imagined himself occupied in the duties which 
he had so much loved. He was almost con- 
stantly engaged in preaching, praying, or 
praising God. One morning, after having been 
delirious during the night, he began to smg 
\j?ith extraordinary sweetness. He had always 
been remarkable for the taste and music of his 
singing; but never before had it sounded so 
rich and melodious. Both the words and the 
tune were unknown to those who heard them; 
and it seemed as if he were preparing to as- 
sume his place, in the mystic chorus of a world 
of peerless and immortal harmony. 

Before this time, he had had strong conflicts 
" with principaHties and powers and the rulers 
of the darkness of this world." On one occa- 
sion, he requested that he might be left alone 
for some time. When his father returned to 
the room, he said, "Father, I have had a 
mighty conflict with the powers of darkness ; 
but praised be the Lord, he has delivered me. 
I have come off *more than conqueror,' 
through the blood of the Lamb." He then 
broke forth in an animated strain of praise. 
But it was now, while his physical powers 
were oppressed with fierce disease, and his 
mind generaUy was weak and wandering,— 
that the foe was permitted to make the most 
terrific and the last attack. Yet though fever 
raged in his veins, and his body was tossed 

Q 



338 MEMOIRS OF THE 

and writhed in frenzy, his soul was enabled 
to collect its energies for the shock, and, as 
nearly as could be recollected, he thus ad- 
dressed his spiritual assailant.*— 

"Thou art a devil! How thou didst be- 
come one, I do not know, but God did not 
create thee so. The blessed God cannot be the 
Author of evil. God made thee an angel of 
light! Thou didst not keep thy first estate! 
Thou didst become a devil; but how I do not 
know : but thou art a devil now ! It pleased 
the blessed God to create man a happy crea* 
ture, — and place him in Paradise, — and thou 
hadst the impudence to go to Paradise and 
tempt our first parents — ^to sin against the 
blessed God. They hearkened to thy sugges- 
tions, — disobeyed the command of God, — 
fell into transgression, and brought down the 
curse of God — upon themselves and their pos- 
terity. — It pleased the blessed God to send his 
Son Jesus Christ, — to die for the sin of man. — 
And I am John Smith, — ^was born at Cudworth 
in Yorkshire — of pious parents, who brought 
me up — in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord. But I was a bad lad; — ^was led captive 
by thee, — and loved my sins. I caused my 
parents much grief: — they prayed mightily to 
God in my behalf — with many tears. It pleased 

• My informant vouches in general, for even the verbal 
accuracy of his report of this extraordinary address. 



RET. JOHN SMITH. 

the blessed God,— of hia infinite mercy, — and 
in answer to prajer, — to connect his Holy 
Spirit with me,— to convince me that I was a 
miserable sinner,— in the road to hell, — and 
under his curse. I resolved through grace, — 
to leave my sins. I feought the Lord in my 
distress : — ^he hoard my prayer :■ — I was en- 
couraged to beheve on Jesus : — God was 
pleased for the sake of Christ,^ — ^to pardon all 
my past sins, — and to put his love in my heart, 
— and to grant me the witness of his Holy 
Spirit that I was adopted.- — 

" And I heheve that Jesus Christ, the Son 
of God,— is a divine person, equal with the 
Father ;^-and that it pleased God the Father, 
— of his spontaneous kindness, — unsolicited, 
— to send Ids Son — into the world. And I 
believe that Jesus Christ became incarnate, 
and was bom of the virgin : tJiat he was a man 
of sorrow,— and acquainti-tl with grief: that 
he lived three and thirty years in this our 
world; tliat he died a shameful and accursed 
death upon the cross: — that it pleased the 
Father to bruise him for tlie sin of man ;— and 
that he rose again from the dead on the third 
day. Death had no power to hold him; and 
he triumphed over thee and all thy power, 
and he ascended into hc;i\i'n ; sat down on the 
right hand of the Fatlior, lo make intercession 
for man ; and all powor in earth and heaven, 
q2 



i 



340 MEMOIRS OF THE 

is committed into his hands. And I believe, — 
that he, by his sufferings and death, — ^made a 
full and sufficient atonement for the sins of 
the whole world,— and purchased for mankind 
the Holy Ghost. And I believe that God is 
pleased, in answer to the intercession of Jesus, 
— ^to connect the Holy Spirit with every soul 
of man, — ^with saving purpose and intention, in 
order to bring them to Christ for salvation^ 
And I believe that there is salvation for all 
who apply. The blessed God is unwilling that 
any should pensh. And I come by fedth to 
Jesus Christ. — I believe that his precious 
blood avails for mey — and I cast my soul upon 
him : I rest upon his atonement, — and I defy 
thee, Satan! Thou art a malignant being, — 
the enemy of God and man ! — and thou art 
seeking to destroy me; but I defy thee! I 
commit my soul to Jesus, and I defy thee! 
Thou canst not hurt ! In the name of Jesus, 1 
defy thee, Satan ! " 

This remarkable contest with his spiritual 
adversary, continued from ten o'clock at night, 
until three in the morning, with loud and dis- 
tressing cries, moans, and prayers. Much of 
the address to Satan, particularly the former 
part, was repeated many times ; for whenever 
an interruption occurred, either in his own 
mind or from without, he recommenced it ; nor 
would he cease, till he had delivered it through- 



I out in an unbroken form. His voice was as 
strong a^ it had ever been known ; and his body 
was so violently agitated by the agoiiy of his 
mind, that it was with difficulty that the united 
strength of five men detained him in bed. 
It was unutterably distressing to behold liim ; 
and to hear him, many times successively, cry- 
ing in the most pathetic tone, "Jesus! 

Jesus ! Je — e — sus ! — help ! " — At length, 

deliverance came : the enemy was overcome : 
peace returned: and there is reason to believe, 
that from this time, his heart was uninterrupt- 
edly glad in the light of the divine countenance. 
After having spent about six weeks at Cnd- 
worth, Mr. S. was removed to Sheffield. He 
still entertained the hope of recovery: several 
of his friends endeavoured to cherish a similar 
expectation, and held a weekly prayer meeting, 
for the specific object of intercession on this 
subject. But the decree had gone forth, sanc- 
tioned imd sealed by Infinite wisdom and 
mercy; and it was irrevocable. Mr. H. Bee- 
son," an attached and kind friend of Mr. S., 
was one of those who watched with liim during 
some of the last nights of his life. In a con- 
versation with Mr. B. upon the various orders 
of intellect, he said of himself, — " I am a mi- 
nister of the Spirit. Soul-saving is my business. 
God has given me a heart for it. I will go on 
io bis name, and believe for effects." Of his 



340 MEMOIRS OF THE 

labours in the Lincoln circuit, he remarked, 
" I was always anxious to get as much biisiness 
done as possible : so I worked while God was 
working, and his arm was made bare in many 
places." He added, " I ought to have given 
over preaching three months before I did;" 
and after some further observations on the same 
subject, he broke forth, " Hallelujah ! to the 
blessed Jesus. I have not had one pain too 
much, — ^not one stroke too heavy. All is right. 
God can do without me." 

This last remark, Mr. S. repeated several 
times to persons who visited him. He ap- 
peared to apprehend, that an undue value and 
dependance had been placed upon his labours ; 
and his trembUng sensibihty for the honour of 
God, led him thus to endeavour to check a 
feeling so erroneous and sinful. Nor was this 
fear without reason. It is indeed a difficiilt 
thing to give all the respect which they appear 
to demand, to the zealous and successful efforts 
or a minister, without, in a measure, losing 
sight of Him, through whom alone, the most 
splendid capacity, and the most perfect devot- 
edness can avail any thing. To us it seems 
very desirable, that the lives of such men as 
the subject of these memoirs, should be pro- 
longed; but oh, it is of infinitely higher mo- 
ment, that God should have the undivided 
homage and dependance of his church. When 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 343 

therefore the creature is made the object of a 
confidence, which wholly belongs to the Cre- 
ator ; and the accomplishments and successes 
of a minister are regarded with an unscriptuial 
complacency, — it is an act of mercy to idl 
parties, to withdraw such an individual from 
the sorceries of an idolatry, which may go far 
to charm away his own simplicity, and which 
already encroaches on the awful circle of the 
divine glory. Tbiis many ministers of distin- 
guished promise, have been snatched away in 
the bloom of _life and of service ; — and in the i 

blank and desolation which succeeds, the 
hearts of God's people have turned in an ex- 
emplary degree, to honour that hand, which 
while it smites, is ready to distil the healing | 

balm, and pour the fiill tide of reviving power- 
It was not till the last week of His life, that 
the trutli broke on Mr. Smith's mind ; and he 
felt that he was now to die. But it was no 
shock to him ; his spirit did not for "a moment 
quail in the solemn certainty. He rested con- I 

fidently on Christ, and calmly awaited the end. 
To a kind friend who attended him, he said, | 

" It appears I shall die." " Yes, sir," was the 
reply, " there is no other prospect." " Well," 
rejoined Mr. S., " God can carry on his work 
without me." He continued, " I want more I 

prayer," and begged his friend to pray with 
him. " What shall I pray for ? " returned the j 



344 MEMOIRS OF THE 

other; "for I cannot pray for your life." 
" Pray," said Mr. Smith, '' as the Spirit shall 
direct you. * Prayer/ as Mr. Bramwell once 
remarked, ' always brings one out on the right 
side.*" They then prayed together, and the 
Lord blessed the soul of his afflicted servant. 
At another time, he said to one of his medical 
attendants, with his accustomed promptness 
of expression, " Shall I die, doctor?" Observ- 
ing that Dr. Young hesitated, he added, ** You 
need not fear to tell me ; I am not afraid." 
Mr. Wild his other medical friend observed, 
" You must keep your mind constantly jSxed 
on eternal things ; " to which Mr. S. answered, 
" My mind is constantly fixed there." 

The friend, to whose communications this 
work has already been so much indebted, re- 
marks : — " The prospect of meeting in heaven, 
with Wesley, and Whitfield, and Fletcher, and 
Bramwell, and Nelson, and others whom he 
loved for their distinguished excellence, was 
peculiarly dear to his thoughts, and often fur- 
nished matter for enlargement and glad antici- 
pation, in his acts of devotion. The thought of 
not recognizing the saints in the eternal state, 
never appeared to have any place in his mind ; 
as it is, in fact, one of those refinements which 
busy speculation has built upon the silence 
of Scripture respecting subjects, which are 
only not distinctly enunciated, because nothing 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 345 

I 

but the credulity of unbelief could have ever 
called them in question. ' By faith, when he 
was dying, he gave commandment concerning 
his bones,' that they should lay them beside 
those of his friend Nelson : — thus attesting, 
not only his assured hope of a joyful resurrec- 
tion, but of a glad recognition also, of him whom 
he had known and loved on earth." 

To a person who visited him he said, 
*^ Mind your business, and take care of your 
family; but above all, see that you keep the 
love of God in your soul. Be firm ; and let 
nothing for a moment lead you to think of 
giving up your class, or decUning any exertion 
in behalf of the cause of God." To a young 
man, whom he believed to be called to the 
ministry, he said, " Do, my brother, be diUgent ; 
play the man ; play the man." Of his own 
experience and feelings, he remarked, " I rest 
in the atonement: I am hanging on the cross 
of Christ ; this is my only hope." To one of 
his colleagues, he said, " All is clear. I have 
had some success in my labours, but my hap- 
piness does not result from that, — ^but from 
this: I have now hold of God. I am a very 
great sinner, and am saved by the wonderftd 
love of God in Christ Jesus. I throw my person 
and my labours at his feet." 

When on one occasion, Mrs. S. was speak- 
ing of his being about to be removed from her, 

Q 5 



346 MEMOIRS OF THE 

he replied with solemn and tender emphasis, 
" The widows and the fsitherless in Israel are 
God's peculiar charge." At another time ob- 
serving her extreme emotion, he would not 
rest satisfied without a promise from her, that 
she would claim the special consolations, 
promised to those in her circumstances. One 
evening, when it was thought that he was 
about to enter into rest, she came to his bed- 
side, and inquired, " My dear, do you think 
the Lord is about to take you home ? " " Not 
just yet perhaps," he replied. Then clasping 
his hands, and lifting up his eyes towards 
heaven, he exclaimed in the ' most impressive 
tone, " I commend to the care and protection 
of the Triune God, my dear wife. May she 
be supported and consoled. I commend to the 
same God, my Ellen Hamer Smith," and then 
proceeded to name all his dear little ones 
separately, and to place them thus solemnly 
under the charge of a faithful and merciful 
God. He continued, " This body I give to be 
committed to the dust, in sure and certain 
hope of a joyful resurrection to eternal Ufe, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ. This immortal 
spirit I commend into the hands of Him who 
gave it." He then appeared exhausted, but in 
a short time revived again. 

The salvation of souls, was almost constantly 
the subject of his meditation and intercession. 




REV. JOHN SMITH, 



One day, when he supposed himself alone, 
obviously engaged in fervent mentai 
prayer ; and at length he broke out, " Glory 
be unto our God! Glory be unto our God! 
What god can deUver like unto our God?" 
Then extending his arms, while liis counte- 
nance was hghted up with joyful confidence, 
he exclaimed, " Glory be to God ! Sheffield 
circuit shall rise! Sheffield circuit shall rise! 
Sheffield circuit shall rise ! " — a prediction which, 
during the last year, has been most happily 
fiimUed. 

On Thursday, November 3rd, the Rev. 
Messrs. M'Lean and Holgate visited him, and 
while they engaged in prayer, a heavenly 
■ influence filled the room. The former, upon 
rising from his knees, exclaimed, " Glory be 
to God ! " To this aspiration of praise, Mr. S. 
whispered an " Amen" which was the last arti- 
culate soimd that he was heard to utter. It 
was the sealing of the volume : the closing 
testimony of an unwavering spirit, the echo 
of which he was to catch, from myriads of im- 
mortal and redeemed intelligencies, in a world 
where the song shall never languish, nor the 
festival ever terminate. In the course of the 
morning, the medical gentlemen called, Mrs. 
D. an affectionate friend, who was present, 
followed them out of tlie room. Dr. Young 
then told her that it was probable that Mr. S. 



348 MEMOIRS OP THE 

would not live an hour longer. Upon her retom, 
he beckoned to her to tell him what they had 
said. For a moment she was silent. She 
then replied, " In less than an hour, sdr, it is 
likely that you will be in eternity." A heavenly 
and triumphant smile played (m his emaciated 
face: he turned his head on his pillow; and 
about a quarter before twelve o'clock, while 
several of his firiends in the attitude and spirit 
of prayer, commended his soul to Grod, he 
entered the realms of eternal praise. 

His remains were deposited in the vault, 
which encloses those of his friend Mr. Nelson. 
In the same place, lies the body of his young- 
est infant, who in the early part of this year, 
was called from this world of trial, to mingle 
with the "angels who do always behold the 
face of our Father which is in heaven." Thus 
with the dust of his ministerial father at its 
side, and of his kindred according to the flesh 
at its feet, his body, — sanctified in life and 
death, and precious and reverend even in 
decay, — reposes, till the Conqueror of the grave 
shall kindle it to immortal beauty, and crown it 
witli everlasting honour. 

Tlie intelligence of Mr. Smith's death, was 
received by his numerous friends, with every 
expression of lively emotion. Funeral sermons 
on the occasion, were addressed to large, at- 
tentive, and deeply affected congregations, in 



REV. JOHN SMITH, 349 

Sheffield and Leeds, by the Rev. F. Calder: 
in Lincohi, by the Rev. T. H. Squance, and in 
Nottingham and its vicinity, by the Rev. Messrs. 
T. Harris, and W, H. Clarkson. Several of these 
sertices were attended by the special presence 
and blessing of God. May the good impressions 
thus produced, prove permanent and indelible ! 

The following notice appeared in the Shef- 
field Mercury: — "Died, on Thursday week, 
aged 37, the Rev. John Smith, Wesleyan 
preacher in the Sheffield East circuit. This 
individual, so highly esteemed in the denomi- 
nation to which he belonged, and who was 
previously stationed at Lincoln, had been 
appointed to this town by the last methodist 
conference, at the earnest soUcitation of many 
of the principal members of the society in the 
circuit; in which he was expected to have 
laboured, with that degree of zeal and use- 
fidness, for which he had been elsewhere 
distinguished. A state of ill health, however, 
prevented him from so much as once preaching 
to the people, whose desires had been con- 
sulted in his appointment. He had indeed 
only been residing in this place about three 
weeks, when he was cut off in the midst of his 
life ; leaving a wife and six young children, 
to sustain their irreparable loss. His end was 
in accordance with the experience of that 
religion, of which he was the ardent preacher ; 



350 MEMOIRS OF THE 

[some of] his latest words being, * All is well; 
— ^all is peace.' His remains were interred on 
Monday morning, in the vault connected with 
the chapel in Carver Street, and about two 
hundred persons were in attendance, to pay 
a last tribute to a man, who was generally 
termed * The Revivalist.' " 

This last epithet, — employed probably in 
the first place, as a mere playful distinction, — 
has now become the serious designation, of 
that class of men to which Mr. Smith belonged. 
It is not, I think, a happy appellation. To 
say nothing of its- barbarism, it has too often 
been associated with a spirit of partizanship ; 
and by men who differ from those it is intended 
to describe, is sometimes used as a term of 
reproach. Yet it is at least proper for those 
who sustain it to inquire, whether that reproach 
be altogether unmerited. Do they make the 
word of God the subject of diligent study, and 
is it exclusively the rule of their labours ? Are 
they ambitious to be mighty in the Scriptures, 
and do they endeavour to infuse the taste for 
scriptural research, into the minds of those 
who are, through their instrumentality, con- 
verted to God ? Do they strive to repress that 
factitious excitement, which is almost invari- 
ably attendant upon real revivals, which tends 
to provoke the prejudices of other sincere 
Christians, and to confound the work of the 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 



S5t 



Spirit with mere passionate and momentary 
emotion ? Does the scriptural character of 
their own piety, manifest itself by continual 
exertion for the salvation of men, or are they 
only fervent occasionally, and by fits? Is 
their zeal an essential attribute of their Chris- 
tianity, or is it a quality which they can some 
times, without much regret, lay aside till a 
more convenient opportimity ? Are they will- 
ing, in all humility, to sit at the feet of those 
whom they believe to be taught by the Spirit, 
or are they self-seeldiig and self-opinionated! 
Do tliey ingenuously admit the excellencies 
of other Christians, or is their temper exclusive 
and censorious. These, and the like queries, 
involve the accusations usually brought against 
this very useful class of Clfristians, by those 
whose opinions and labours are dissimilar from 
their own. Let such as hear the name of re- 
vivalists, or desire to attain the character sup- 
posed to be implied in it, candidly inquire, 
how far they merit these accusations. The 
example of one, to whom in general, they may 
honourably seek a resemblance, is sketched in 
these pages; and tliough the outline is faint 
and inadequate, it is yet sufficiently distinct, 
to sliow how fully, and by what means, he 
shunned majiy of those errors, from which some 
who partially resemble him, i 
to be entirely free. 



35S MEMOIRS OP THE 

Men of sanguine temperament are not^ 
rally qualified to attain distinction. Th^ 
not possess sufficient body ajid depth of 
acter. Hence when, as in Mr. Smith's 
we find a Christian of this class truly emri- 
it is important and interesting to inquirca^ 
causes foreign fi\>ni the native elements 
own mind, conspired to support the iiiL.M 
necessary to excellence. To excite p0»sai 
tliis character to action in the first pl±^ 
easy: the difficulty is to give their vafSOm 
regular and increasing power. It may cr 
be showD. that the duties to which na-an 
they are the least disposed, tend most ^fl 
this residt; and these undoubtedly ti^m 
calm, scrutinizing, and meditative, ^i— ^ 
was unusually asSiduous and diligent I 
closet ; and in this fact, I think, is to b 
the explanation of liis steadiness, 
and consequent eminence, both as 
and a minister. It was thus that he wa^ j 
the subject of tliose penetrating 
which continually urged him to i 
was thus also, tliat he was brought i 
deep and painfiil exercises, which : 
his experience and his principles 
established. Here it was that lie made^ 
daring experiments of faith, by the i 
of which in society, ho succeeded i 
donii sudi uncommon blessmgg from a 



359 



MEMOIRS OF THE 



Men of sanguine temperament are not gene- 
rally qualified to attain distinction. They do 
not possess sufficient body and depth of char- 
acter. Hence when, as in Mr. Smith's case, 
we find a Christian of this class truly eminent, 
it is important and interesting to inquire, what 
causes foreign from the native elements of bir 
own mind, conspired to support the impujg».' 
necessary to excellence. To excite persons of' 
this character to action in the first place, ia 
easy ; the difficulty ia to give their motives ( 
regidar and increasing power. It may readily 
be shown, that the duties to wliicb naturally 
they are the least disposed, tend most fully to 
this result; and these undoubtedly ace, tlie 
calm, scrutinizing, and meditative. Mr. Smith 
was unusually asSiduous and diligent in Mi 
closet ; and in this fact, I think, is to be {oasi 
the explanation of his steadiness, uiu&rmit^, 
and consequent eminence, both as a Chrirtiu 
and a minister. It was tlius tliat he was UtHe 
the subject of those penetrating discoveiitd 
which continually urged him to action. It 
was thus altio, that he was brought into thoK 
deep and painful exercises, which rendcRiJ 
his experience and his i>rinciples so solid and 
established. Here it was that he uiade thdee 
daring experiments of faith, by the repetition 
of which ill society, he succeeded in diawinft 
down such uncommon blessings from oa high> 



i 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 353 

He had a thousand times watched the fire of 
heaven play around his sacrifice in solitude : — 
it was not for him to doubt, that the sign would 
be repeated before the eyes of all Israel, though 
the altar and the offering were alike surrounded 
by the waters of indifference and unbelief. 

To be more particular however; persons of 
the class to which allusion has just been made, 
are not only likely to be betrayed into rashness 
and precipitancy; but they are also peculiarly 
disposed to be satisfied with what is crude in 
doctrine, and superficial in experience. Mr. 
Smith's enlightened piety, and well digested 
principles, appear to have especially resulted, 
from his continual and prayerful research into 
the scriptures, and his perpetual recurrence to 
them. Nor is it too much to say, that no per- 
son of this character, can attain a maturity of 
Christian virtue, or an extensive degree of 
scriptural usefulness, who does not constantly 
and peculiarly make the Bible the subject of 
humble and devotional study. "You must 
search and dig into it," said Mr. S. to one of 
Jus fi*iends, " as the miners do for treasure in 
e bowels of the earth." He who is most 
^*ve in the church, has need of the largest 
sure of scriptural knowledge and under- 
ling. Without this, as ballast, he will 
be able to bear up against the varyingr 
to which he is continually exposed 






354 MEMOIRS or the 

even to take advantage of the favouring breezes, 
with which Heaven may sweU his sails. 

Yet let me not be underftood to propose 
Mr. Smith as a perfect example. To admit 
that his character was not without alloy, is 
only to allow that he was a man^ and as such, 
liable to error and frailty. I readily grant, that 
he was sometimes wanting in prudence; but 
it was a rare thing indeed for that want to 
injure any but himself. His modes of exertion 
in some cases also, even if perfectly justifiable 
in him, cannot be proposed as a safe example 
for others. Indeed, it should be remembered, 
that whatever has been rationally questioned 
in the conduct of a man of such acknowledged 
excellence, becomes doubly doubtful in the 
behaviour of those, whose spiritual attainments 
are but low. Yet when we speak of bis spirit, 
— of its tenderness, its sympathy, its Humility, 
its ardour, its devotion, its resolution, and its 
heavenliness, — we feel that we are on secure 
ground. Here no cold qualification is required: 
it is indeed a bright example ; it is truly worthy 
of imitation : and those who were most perfectly 
acquainted with it, — ^be their differences of 
opinion upon other matters what they may,— 
will cordially unite in the desire, that it may 
prove powerfiilly and increasingly influential. 

He has returned to Zion with singing. It 
is our privilege to follow him in our contena- 



REV. JOHN SMITH. 355 

plations. We are not only called to profit by 
the example of distinguished saints while they 
remain on earth, but also to accompany them 
in spirit, to that land of perfection, where 
every thing of infirmity and error, where the 
possibility of lapse or decay is for ever removed. 
Our faith is invited to listen to their solemn 
song, and to anticipate their holy joy. As 
those objects in nature, which when minutely 
inspected, are in many respects, coarse and 
unsightly ; in the distant landscape are softened 
into perfect beauty, so are our recollections 
of the departed feithful, to rise on our spirits 
in fair and unsullied vision. AU that was 
worthy of our esteem here, we are to contem- 
plate, as now expanded and sublimed; all 
that was earthly and questionable, as shaken 
off for ever. We are to witness their love, 
woke up to undying and rapturous ardour, — 
their zeal, enkindled in a pure untrembling 
pillar of ascending flame, — their praise, mul- 
tiplied by the echoes of countless spirits, pure 
and etherial as themselves, — their intellects, 
with unwearied wing, expatiating over eternity, 
and finding new matter for wonder and adora- 
tion in every line of light which radiates fi-om 
the throne; and then, when our thoughts are 
ravished with the glorious and pure scenes 
which present themselves to our faith, — we are 
to kneel before our Father and their Father, 



356 MEMOIRS OF THE 

and lifting up holy hands and a sincere heart, 
to breathe forth the comprehensive and mys- 
terious prayer, " Thy will be done in earth, as 
it is done in heaven." 



FINIS. 



Roche, Printer, 70, Old Street Road, London. 



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